Join Josh and Kit this week as they welcome Tristen and Jonathan Collins in speaking about Why Emotions Matter.
Shame is a signal that your identity is being threatened
Fear is a signal that you are in danger
Anger is a signal that an expectation wasn’t met
Sadness is a signal that something needs to heal
Jealousy is a signal of an unfulfilled desire
Happiness is a signal that a desire has been met
Why Emotions Matter
Bible Project Generosity Series
Click for Full Podcast Transcription
All right. Today, we are really grateful to have john interest in Collins on the podcast with us. Tristan is a therapist in the Portland area. And john is one of the founders along with Tim Mackey, of the Bible project. And I am a huge Bible project fan, especially their podcast. So I’m eager to dive into conversations today. And,
and I am a big fan of their book that they wrote together called why emotions matter. It’s compelling look at, you know, emotions, and how they’re part of our spiritual life. Even this deep dive into our bodies and how our emotions live in our bodies are expressed to our bodies and how we can learn and pay attention to that and how that affects how we live our life. So we we are grateful to have you with us. Welcome, Tristan. And john.
Thanks for having us. Yeah,thank you.
So john, interesting, I really was compelled to find your book very compelling, and on many different levels. And one of the main quotes that struck me was this idea that you say, for some of us, emotions are overwhelming, and all important. And for others, they’re bothersome and irrational. But no matter where you fall on the emotional spectrum, one thing is for sure, God designed you as an emotional being. I really think that’s potent. And I would just love for you to share a little bit more about what you mean by that, and kind of how it relates to your story and how it came about.
Well, john, and I have different personalities. And so I think part of how we experience emotions is based on our personality and the enneagram, you know, is very helpful, and just talking about how you respond to emotions, and I think me being an enneagram, too, and john being a five, we’re on opposite ends of the spectrum. And I tend to go more from my heart, which ends up being, you know, feelings are a lot more spontaneous, and I enjoy them. And john tends to be more in his head. So we just end up being really different that way. And I think, yeah, people come from different perspectives. So there can be anything in between. and it’s not like we’re just emotions, and in some ways, and deny or deny emotions in other ways.
Yeah, so we, I have this real distrust of emotions and want to be stoic and rational. And Tristan comes with this, this just embracing of the emotional life and living with emotions first. And that gets us in a lot of conflicts. And so this project of writing this book, Justin’s a, she’s a licensed professional counselor, and, and has done a lot of work with, with people and, and has found that understanding why we have emotions, and what they’re signaling and our body is, helps us grow and change. And so she, she’s been trying to convince me of that. And this, this book became a bit of a project for, for me and for her to kind of come to a common understanding. And, and in that way, it was really a lot of a lot of fun. And super helpful for me, as someone who, before this book had no category for my emotions having any value at all.
So john, one of the things that you you read in the book is you said, I’ve never really thought deeply about this before that God made us as human bodies. He didn’t make us as souls without a body, he made us as embodied creatures, and our emotions are part of that design. So they must be there for a reason. That kind of fits with what you’re saying, I I got really excited just that there’s so much to unpack there that God has made us human bodies, and we’re not just like you. You quoted this book, too. I’m not just a brain on a stick. So yeah. Can you share a little about how, like, just the role of like, how this kind of this journey and this book have has, has touched your faith in that way?
Yeah, so I grew up in a faith tradition, where for whatever reason, I have this mental model that the real me is some disembodied soul that will live on forever and that my body is just as temporary holding time. And, and so I, you mentioned the Bible project, I’ve been working on that project with a colleague, Tim Mackey, who’s a Hebrew Bible scholar, and I, and about five years ago, I was talking with him about this, and telling him like, Man, I’m having this revolution of sorts that like, I have a body, I’m not just a soul actually have a body. And he, he turned to me and said, actually, john, no, you are a body. And that really confused me. What do you mean? And so he started, he, he really helped me understand that. This, this idea of being a body in the Hebrew Bible, is, is the paradigm. So God created us, you know, he formed humans out of dirt. And he did, he breathed His Spirit into us and, and then he called us the image of God. And so to be the image of God is to be these dirt creatures that he created. And and he wanted us to rule his ordered world that he called good on his behalf, and with him by his wisdom, as these embodied creatures, and that was just a brand new paradigm and then thinking forward, how Jesus, he shows he has a new resurrected body. And then there’s hope for us having new bodies and a new creation. That that’s the biblical story is not floating away, as a soul one day, but actually having a redeemed new body. And so that just got me thinking like what, you know, if God created us as embodied creatures, then emotions are part of his design. And I need to, I need to up my level of respect for for emotions.
So that, yeah, that way, I mean, we’ve just described, I think, and even your the initial paradigm of calm kind of like, I’m a soul or a spirit in a body in case in the body, kind of like, these are the clothes I wear while I’m on Earth. But someday, I’ll, you know, I’ll share this a little behind, I think has been so I think that’s rampant through a lot of the church today. And it does have so many implications for when we get that wrong. And it says, so many implications for what we do with our bodies. And part of the reason that interests me in this area of ministry certainly is, I mean, Christian sexual ethics involve the reality that we are our bodies that our bodies have something to say with who God has made us to be, and therefore what we do with them. They’re not, they’re not just clothes to alter, or to change, or to move around. And but the other thing that strikes me about what you said, and this is something I’m not, I don’t know, that I’m very adept at. So I’d love to hear you guys talk about this a little bit, you’re making a connection to what you’re saying between being embodied creatures that we are our bodies, with emotion, because I think I typically and I think a lot of people typically think about emotion as part of that. Something in the inner world, the inner self, it’s not a bodily thing, but your your book doesn’t talk about it just that way. So it’s a more about how emotions connect to the body, or how our body connects us to emotion, or, I just love to hear you guys unpack that a little bit more?
Unknown Speaker 8:16
Well, the word emotion is just, you know, comes from our bodies, emotion, and that emotions, they give us information, they’re connected to our bodies, and they’re kind of like a shortcut to describe what our body is doing. And so one of the analogies that I came up with is that when you drive in your car, you look at the dashboard of your car to get a lot of information at just one glance. And emotions are like the dashboard of our body. So when we’re driving, if we look down at our dashboard, and we see in our gas tank is empty, or are driving really fast, or car’s gonna overheat and die. It gives us information on what to do. And so emotions are that same body information that can be really helpful for us to figure out what to do, and they’re not good or bad. It’s just what you do with that information.
The things I liked about your book was that in each of those emotions, each chapter on the on those six emotions that you covered, which we can get into more specifically later, you actually talked about, you know, paying attention to your body and what, what to pay attention to, as it relates to each emotion. So can you say a little bit about that? Because that was very intriguing to me that you can really we can really use our bodies, like you say, as a dashboard and as a way to process what we’re feeling.
Mm hmm. Yeah, so
I think you know, right now, probably people are feeling a lot of fear. And I think when you’re not When you attuned to your body, it can give you information like my heart is, you know, beating really fast, or my thoughts are racing, or I’m noticing that my mind is spinning or Yeah, I think that those body signals can help us to figure out what we’re feeling. And for everybody, it might look a little different. But I think it’s good to just ask the question, like, oh, if my mind is racing, my heart is racing, I’m having a difficult time breathing. You know, I might be feeling afraid. And what, what could be threatening me right now is a good question to ask.
Yeah, the big aha, for me, in terms of this dashboard analogy was that we have two ways to process information as humans. I guess it’s a simplification, probably, but you can think of in terms of, we can think we have thoughts, we can chew on data, we can process things with our rational mind. And for me as an anagram five as a rational skeptic, I love that. And I applied, I placed so much value to that. But we have another way to process information. And that’s with our bodies, our bodies actually are, with our five senses, we’re taking in millions of bits of information every second of the day. And our rational brain can only process like a dozen or 20 bits of information a second, and so it can’t keep up. But our bodies actually have a way to sift through all that data, and then decide on our behalf. If it’s something worth realizing if it’s something if it’s information that’s important. And the way it does that is it sends us signals that we call feelings. It’s emoting on our behalf. It’s actually it’s not just processing that information, it’s acting on information. So it’s fear, you’re actually your body will tense up adrenaline will pump, it’s getting ready to protect you before you can even rationally start to process that emotion, that feeling that you’re you’re having. And so in a book with those six emotions, we just kind of talk we try to give a bit of a bullet point for how could you summarize what that emotion is trying to communicate. And so we talked about shame, as a signal that your identity is being threatened fear as a signal that you’re in danger, anger, a signal that an expectation has not been met, sadness is a signal that something needs to heal. Jealousy is a signal of an unfulfilled desire. Happiness is a signal that a desire has been met. So those are real simplifications. But just starting to think in terms of, Okay, my body is communicating to me something, what is it trying to communicate, now you’re using your rational mind to then work with your body, but that’s how God designed us. And, and I shouldn’t say too, that our bodies are not perfect. So we can’t trust every piece of information coming up, but but God is redeeming our bodies, and, and there’s still a ton a ton of value there that we can’t dismiss.
Yeah, our body is a lot more complicated than a car. And so the signals that it gives us can be, you know, so many different so much information.
Yeah. So I, okay, I got to slow what you just shared down because I think that is so meaningful. So a lot of people come to our ministry are wrestling with habitual, unwanted sexual behaviors. And, and for many of them, they’ve, they’ve learned to and I don’t mean cognitively learned to, but they’ve, they’ve gotten habituated to taking the things that our body is feeling and turning to pornography or masturbation or hooked up with somebody to try to either mitigate or in some unconscious way try to resolve the stuff that they’re feeling. So some of the work that we’re that we try to walk people through is is slowing down. What are you feeling what’s happening for you? What are you really looking for? And so when you unpack those six emotions, shame, fear, anger, sadness, jealousy and happiness, and challenge and courage invite people to pay attention to when your body is feeling those things. So that then you can actually do something healthy. Because feelings mean that’s that’s a game changer for for people instead of numbing out, you know, medicating whatever so so yes, john, you zip through those but maybe you guys could could slow down just a little bit with shame is communicating fears communicating, go through this again, I don’t think it’d be too much. I mean, I’d love to hear it again. And I know people listening who are probably trying to take notes. So walk us through that again. And then and then maybe If you could add to that, like, what do you do then with that like? Like, if like sort of shame. You know, it’s it’s I think you said it’s a signal that your idea that your identity has been threatened? Yes. What do you then do with your body with your mind when you realize that you’re experiencing shame? So can you help us with some of those?
Yeah, I think it is a challenge in that we develop habits and coping strategies that just become automatic. And so when we’re not aware of what we’re feeling, we just go to those coping strategies. And so yes, part of the challenge is to become more aware of what you actually need. And so feelings and signal that, and so when you think about shame, and that’s something that affects everyone, whether or not they’re aware of it. And I think it goes back to the garden. And from Scripture, that Adam and Eve, after they made the decision to eat of the fruit, they covered themselves. And so, you know, God viewed them as beautifully made and whole. And they saw themselves as needing to hide that, who they are, who they are, who they’re created to be. And so I think shame is that signal that we’re trying to, we feel ashamed of who we’re created to be. And on many different levels, we try to hide, hide that part of us. And so what I’ve seen in in my practice, is maybe not just hiding, but also even trying to hurt, who are created to be. So oftentimes addictions, is self harm. And so we’ve created these habits or coping strategies that really hurt the beautiful way that God’s created us to be, and to thrive and function. And so when we start to have compassion for ourselves, and see that these strategies are a way to harm, and to hinder the beauty of who God’s created us to be, it can really help us to open ourselves up to finding a new strategy, and new way of coping, that can help us to thrive. Wow,
that’s powerful, that’s beautiful. Couple of things that just jumped out at me was just how well you described how identifying, you know, through our bodies, these feelings can bring us to some helpful conclusion and this idea that we would harm ourselves, you know, like, we don’t, we wouldn’t know that that’s happening. And I think this idea of, you know, leading us to understanding more about who God created us to be is also really significant that there’s such uniqueness here. And so, you know, I like that you talk about, you’re paying attention, and that each of us is wired differently, even though we can have all these emotions, there’s also a uniqueness to Highland process and what conclusions we’ll come up with, and who we will find out ourselves to be. So there’s some generalities that are really helpful, but I also really like the uniqueness that it points to that’s so important for us if we don’t get that,
yes, yes, that oftentimes we aren’t given, you know, we’re really guided into the identity that God’s created us to be. And so when we grow up in families that tell us, you know, who we are, is our behaviors. And we can start to have these negative behaviors and think that’s our identity, when really were created for so much more. And I think that can help us to let go of those ways that we’re hurting ourselves, when we can really start to see and see the fruit of the beauty of God, who God’s created us to be and living from our strengths. And so I think, I think it’s an amazing thing that God gives us an identity is his child and, and also the ruler of creation, co ruler of creation. And so these are things I think that we can forget. Yeah.
So in that way, shame actually, is a really valuable, alert system that we have saying that we are living out of a poor identity. And shame is really not fun. And it’s a horrible feeling. But it’s kind of like the check engine light when it comes in your car. You’re like, Oh, no, like what’s going on? How deep does this problem go? But it’s such a valuable signal to say, you you’re living on a poor identity, I think shames a lot like disgust. And we understand that emotion really well. Like if you see some vomit or food that’s bad. Your body reacts with this, like, get away. This is bad. And shame is disgust for yourself. And that’s why it’s just instead of new leads, it can lead to self harm. And we just have such this beautiful identity as humans, that we are God’s children, and that he wants us to live with his wisdom and, and be in such an intimate relationship with Him as as co rulers of creation, that that shame should point us back to that identity. So we start with that emotion because it just feels so central to, to where everything else goes.
That what makes so much sense to me. And just thinking about addiction recovery work is that idea that, like, I think a lot of people after they act out in some way that they’re, that they’re ashamed of, they point back and say, well, it’s what I just did that, that makes me feel so ashamed, not realizing that that shame actually might have been there beforehand. And the behavior that I just did was a form of self harm. Yes, that I, that was reinforcing what I had already felt about myself, as opposed to, when you talk to us and about, this is an opportunity for to be to express compassion for myself, too. I mean, like, like those of us who have children that we love, if my if my son or daughter came to me, and I was aware, they were feeling ashamed. And I treated them, john is just the way you just said with disgust, I would just reinforce the shame. And again, same way, if we can start conceiving of our addictions, as a form of self harm, that’s the, that’s treating yourself with disgust, as opposed to that compassion that says, I was made for something so much more than this, I was actually made by God to rule and reign with Him, I’m a beloved creature, I bear his image. And there’s something unique about me as a man or woman that’s, that’s unique and all the earth. Yeah, and, and that flips a lot of our kind of humanistic approaches to, to addiction recovery on its head, where instead of starting with, like, let’s eradicate behavior, you feel better about yourself. Now we say, we actually want to start by by paying attention to that the alert system is telling you that you you’ve been feeling bad about yourself, you’ve been feeling shame, let’s talk about where that comes from. And what God says is true about you what is true about you?
Yes, yeah, I think I know with addiction, that it does, you know, they say that with addiction, it can be such a, you know, repetitive, and boring way of life. Right? It becomes this like ritual of, you’re just enslaved to. And I think realizing that, you know, God wants more for us. It’s not that God is punitive. And this wants to punish us and is, you know, just solely concerned with behave, behave and obey, and due to the care about us as as a human. And so I think shame is realizing that God is calling us to something greater, he has a bigger vision for our lives, and that he wants to, you know, free us from the slavery of this repetitive, self harming, you know, prison that we put herself in.
Yeah, that’s beautiful. I love that.
And how helpful that what you’re saying is, God has given us bodies that can help us realize that we’re experiencing shame. And rather than run from that, because we want to because it’s terrible, yes. But to see it as a helpful tool to discover who we are and what’s going on.
That’s so helpful. Yes, yeah. I think it’s so telling that in the garden, Adam and Eve’s, you know, first instinct was to hide, and that God knew, you know, he said, Why are you hiding? Who told you? You were, yeah, that you’re naked, and you’re in and being afraid of God? And so you just see that, you know, no longer do they have this relationship of trust that God has for them, you know, they started to believe that God is against them. And I think when we get into that vicious cycle of you know, God doesn’t have a good vision for my life. God sees me as you know, piece of crap, then I think it just sends us down into that prison of hell, where we get trapped in the shame spiral and shame imprisonment.
I think one of things that makes me think of I’ve when I was growing up the Christian tradition I grew up in I remember hearing I don’t know if it was a where it came from, but I remember hearing the idea that hey, look, because of what Jesus did for you, God no longer see, when God looks at you, he no longer sees you. He sees Jesus. And that, to me was always so unsatisfying. And yeah, yeah. Because of shame. Because Because that that can perpetuate the shame message, right? I don’t want to see me because I’m yeah. Yeah. As to what Christ did was to come to redeem me. Yeah, cuz he loves me and I am good. He made me very good. So
yes, yes. I mean, it makes me think of Les Miserables and how the priest was john, Val, john. He just had he, he gave him a vision of himself that he didn’t have. You know that, john? Well, john saw himself as a thief, and kind of imprisoned in that lifestyle. But the priests that, you know, told him that he could have the candelabras. And he just gave him that vision for something else greater in his life. And that’s what released him to live from that truth.
Yeah, I love it. So, so shame is one. And we only have a few minutes left, but but could you walk us through it quickly, again, what the what those different, those different emotions shame, fear, anger, sadness, jealousy and happiness, what they, what they signal, so shame signals that our identity feels threatened, fear signals,
their fears, a signal that you you might be in danger. And, you know, we, it’s a great time to talk about fear where I don’t know when this goes live, but the whole world is dealing with this pandemic. And there’s a lot of fear. And fear drives us to, to hoard and to go crazy in our own minds and feel restless. And and so we’re all dealing with this. And it’s a signal that saying, you there’s danger, there’s some sort of threat that you need to be aware of. And so it’s a valuable signal for us. And but, Justin’s been thinking a lot about this, obviously, because of what’s going on and realizing that navigating with this signal takes a lot of wisdom. But you want to speak to a little bit. Yeah, that fear is a helpful informant. But it’s a terrible master. That’s one of our quotes in the book. And fear is really great to get us to do things. But what happens is sometimes we, you know, we’re paralyzed in fear, or we aren’t able to do something. And so when we start to ruminate, on worst case scenarios, I would say, that spirals us into more worry, which is unproductive. So, fear paired with action is usually more productive. But oftentimes, when we aren’t able to act, that’s also when we start to experience anxiety. And we’re more vulnerable to post traumatic stress disorder. And so it’s really difficult feeling to harness because our bodies, you start pumping adrenaline and it really just, like I said, is an is a body reaction to act. Yeah, we like to think of fears like a bodyguard. It’s, it’s there to protect you. So you’re not I mean, imagine you’re president of United States. Congratulations to you right now. But one thing you get is, is all these bodyguards, and what they’re doing is they’re assessing threats on your behalf. So you don’t have to think about them. But in any second, they’re going to be on top of you, protecting you before you even realize what’s going on. And that’s what fear does for us. And, and it’s highly tuned to danger. And depending on our personality, and depending on our past certain situations, maybe past trauma, or the way that our our thoughts and the way that the things we meditate on it might not be calibrated super well, but it’s there to keep you safe. In fact, I found this really cool quote from the bodyguard, the movie with was that Kevin Costner? Yeah. Whitney Houston, and they’re shopping when he uses shopping. And Kevin Costner is texting her. And she’s trying to have this moment with him. And he said, Hey, I’m not here to help you shop. I’m here to keep you alive. And that’s, that’s fear. So it feels like it gets in the way for us. Because it’s like, man, I just want to live my life and fears keeping me from things. But, but it’s it’s there to protect you. And so we have to decide at what point is that fear? Because there’s a dragon there that we need to stay away from, because it’s dangerous and can hurt us or is that fear because there’s a dragon there that has a treasure. That’s we need. And we want to we need to slay that dragon. And so that’s what we have to decide. When we when we get the signal of fear.
It also is you know, the process you’re talking about is like okay, something’s going on in my body. We can actually stop and ask God Is this real? Is this imagined? What am I thinking what’s really going on here? But so that your body Give us that, that, that that information so we can discern what it is versus normally we just like, Oh, I’m scared, I’m running. I’m scared. I’m, you know, we don’t even process it. So I think that’s really helpful when we have these feelings, and we don’t really know is this real estate, imagine what’s going on to stop and think about it NES got into it.
Yes. And if fear, if it’s super high, you know, we’re pumping out a lot of adrenaline and cortisol, then I think that, you know, exercise movement is, is the best priority, until you can get it down until you get your body regulated enough that you’re, you know, as Daniel Siegel talks about, you’re in the window of tolerance. So your body’s not, you know, highly anxious, it’s just, you’re able to actually use your, you know, your mind, because our minds, part of our mind goes off. You know, blown offline, when we have high anxiety. So I think focusing on getting the energy out through a body. So running, walking quickly, can get us to a place where we can even reflect and we need that, to even reflect about fear.
And what a great word for us right now with the covid 19 pandemic? I mean, I think, because the so the image of the bodyguard, you know, the bodyguards, great when he jumps on top of you to keep you from getting shot, but the bodyguard takes it too far. When when he just stays on top of you.
Yeah, totally suffocating. Yeah, so I think that like, Okay, so now it’s time to get up and get moving. Yes. And I think that the temptation I don’t know about you guys, but the temptation for me, I think is like, you know, well, what’s the latest news? What’s the latest update? What’s the latest directive? And? And I can only take so much of that before?
Yes, totally. Yeah, all of us, I think that’s the problem actually, with technology is that we get, you know, too much information. And so we aren’t able to respond to the information that we’re given, and really absorb it. And so it just, you know, keeps accumulating, and then we’re just sitting in our homes or sitting at our computer. And it’s just, I think makes us really vulnerable to learn helplessness and apathy, which neither of those are helpful for any person. Yeah, but this is, this is a crazy time. And the fears here for a reason we are, our gut is telling us we’re in for a wild ride, people are losing their jobs, the economy is, is not doing well. And and we don’t know how long this is we’re gonna have to ride this out for and what the implications would be. And so the fear is, is they’re saying, I want to keep you safe through all of this. And but we just don’t have categories for how to keep ourselves really safe during this time. And, and I think this is where the teachings of Jesus really bring some good perspective, which is, you know, we, he says, you know, do not fear, to be anxious about nothing. And Jesus believed that God is a generous father, who will take care of us, like he takes care of the birds, and he takes care of everything else, and that we could actually live out of the generosity that God has for others. And so I think during this time of fear, one of our antidotes is generosity, to find an opportunity for people who are suffering around us and to love our neighbors. And they actually really will start to alleviate fear as we live into this truth that God is the generous host of creation and that he and that he loves us all.
Yeah, generosity is a productive action.
Yeah. Yeah, this kind of this epiphany this last year, so I’m, I’ve wrestled my, for my whole life with fear. So I’m especially kind of tuned into this conversation taking notes over here, but but I had this epiphany, like I’ve recognized when john writes perfect love casts out all fear. Recognize, okay, so I need love, I need God’s love. But I think the the act of generosity isn’t, is an act of love. It’s is putting another person’s good in front of my own. And I think when I can, when I can do that, that also helps to mitigate fear. So it goes both ways. And, and I do want to just mention here, I was mentioning to you, john, before the the podcast, we started recording, the Bible projects. podcast series on God’s generosity is, is phenomenal. And I think it was recorded well before, you know this, but I think that if anybody wanted to take the time to listen, they would really benefit from it. So we’ll have a link to that in the show notes for this. I know I’ve been continuing to chew on the stuff that you guys unpacked during that podcast on generosity. So certainly a good way to spend our time, I think these days, so What can you guys take? I think we spend a lot of time on shear shame and fear we won’t have as much time to talk about, but could you just real quickly walk us through the anger, say, sadness, jealousy and happiness? And then? And then sadly, we will. And then I will feel sadness. I guess. But could you walk us through those before we before we finish?
Yeah, sure. So anger, anger is a signal that expectation has not been met. We kind of like framing it as an expectation. Because we’re, you know, we, anger is a moral type of emotion, there’s a sense of, we all have a sense of right and wrong, of what I deserve, what other people deserve, what I want out of life, what I think I need, so these are all expectations. And anger is telling us the thing, we want the thing we expect, it’s not happening. And if the thing that we want, is really good and true and beautiful, then that anger is great, use that anger to then make that thing a reality. But that’s, but that’s what it’s it’s signaling. And sometimes obviously, the thing we expect is, is not something we actually need. And so when we experienced that anger, we don’t can reflect on what is it that I actually am expecting, and is that is that good and true and beautiful or not. And then sadness is a signal that something needs to heal. And I think right now, sadness is a difficult for feeling for people to lean into, because it slows us down, where fear and anger tend to ramp us up. And, you know, get our bodies ready for action. Sadness has a different energy that slows us down is really important, I think, to dis reflect and to acknowledge pain. And yeah, that especially even inner pain. And just to name the last two, jealousy is a signal of unfulfilled desires. And happiness is the flip of that, where you’re, it’s a signal that your desires have been met.
Yeah, God, God created us to desire. And he put us in His creation, and he said, expand the boundaries of this garden. And, and he won’t, he gave us desire, so that we can work towards things that are good and beautiful. And jealousy is a signal saying something you desire isn’t isn’t coming about. And, you know, it’s different than envy. Envy is like this, this rooting in yourself and kind of self pity of like, I want something someone else has. Or jealousy is just a normal emotion. It’s not, it’s not bad. It’s just, there’s something I want. And then happiness is just that time when, you know, your body’s telling you like everything’s good. And enjoy. And, and that’s, and that’s a real gift. And and what it should do is it should point us back to that, that, that our desires are being met. And, and then ultimately, to a place of thankfulness and gratitude.
Yeah, and happiness. I don’t think everything has to be good, but just acknowledging what is good. Yeah. And so, you know, for right now, maybe happiness is that warm cup of coffee in the morning as you look outside or that quiet moment. And so, I think taking time to acknowledge what is happening, that’s, that’s positive is really important as a buffer to allowing adrenaline and fear to kind of take over.
Right now. That’s a good, that’s a really wise word, you know, for us.
So maybe, maybe one, one closing question for you guys would be, I mean, given the, just the, I think the vast spectrum of emotions that people are experiencing right now, and, and it’s maybe especially for those listening who, who are novices at recognizing what their body is telling them that they’re feeling and paying attention to that. What would you if somebody is just beginning this, this journey of kind of like, oh, let me start paying attention to what my body is telling me. What would you recommend? How would you recommend that they begin that, that journey?
I think one thing is just creating space, I think to be silence and undistracted and really just inviting themselves to listen to what their body might be communicating. And I think it’s just as simple as you know. Being aware of, you know, how does my head feel right now and going through your body scanning, or they call them like body scans where you start at the top of your head, or you start at the bottom of your feet, you just go through each body part and just kind of check in, and notice how your body is feeling. And I think as you become aware, you’ll start to notice that certain parts of your body might be more tight and tense than others. And when you start to become attuned to that feeling, you might also start to notice, no, when does it relax? And when does it tighten back up again. And so just a simple practice of starting, you know, a quiet moment, of even just like five minutes of scanning your body and checking in with your body is a great place to start.
That’s great, man. That’s great. Hey, I would love to take so much more time. So I’m going to, let’s do this again. I so appreciate your perspective and your thoughtfulness. And this is these are deep waters, and they really are, but but at the same time, incredibly valuable, day by day in a practical way and for for all of us today, given what we’re dealing with people who struggle with habitual sexual issues and other addictions. So thank you so much for the for your hard work on this book. And, and what you’re doing.
Yes, we love talking about this. So
all right. All right. We’ll do it again. Great. Let me let me just pray for all our listeners, Lord. We do, even in this time with, with all this happening outside, we we want to turn to you, Lord, we want to acknowledge your sovereignty, your goodness, the Lord, in light of what we talked about today, we want to acknowledge and thank you for our bodies are not just that we have them. But Lord, that we our bodies, our teachers to honor who you’ve made us to be as body creatures, and to treat our bodies well. Including by paying attention to what they feel, and, and the honor they that our bodies give us Lord, see I’m talking about it like we’re like we’re not our bodies. It’s so hard to even communicate but Lord, you know, you know we mean, but help us to become whole, the spirit body creatures that have made us to be and especially to walk as whole men and women in this season. So we pray it for our good pray for the good of our neighbors. We pray for the good of our enemies. We pray for Your glory, Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.
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Original music by Shannon Smith. Audio engineering by Gabriel @ DelMar Sound Recording.
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