My blog entry a few weeks ago entitled “Feelings” brought valuable comment from a good friend who is a spiritual director and writer. Her background includes a long stint under fundamentalist doctrine that discredited feelings as “of the flesh.” She subsequently learned to give credence to her feelings and recognize them as gifts from God – “not to be blown about by them, from one whim to another, but simply to notice and consider,” she said. I think my blog post might have seemed a little too close to that old doctrine, at least close enough to question, and I’m glad she did.
Simply to notice and consider sounds to me like an unbeatable approach to feelings, especially feelings like fear, irritation, anger, disdain, despair, impatience, resentment, mortification. My friend calls her feelings “gifts from God” that have something to say to her, so she would not be so quick to dismiss them as my blog post suggested. I think she’s right and would add only that the noticing and considering might best be done through the perspective of your spirit.