Dropping my daughter off at college this weekend, we were stuck in a line of loaded cars waiting to get to the dorms. It was a loooooong line, and my husband, daughter and I were all feeling a little hangry. Normally, I am the absolute worst in such situations, and my family knows to steer clear. But fortunately, on the long drive down that day, this had popped into my head:
People get hungry.
They get tired.
But...they do not BECOME their hunger, nor their weariness, anymore than they are consumed permanently by other feelings or emotions. At times, though, we identify sooo strongly with them, often to the point of thinking they are us.
Outrage is one such emotion.
Fear is another.
Feelings are like fashion - a garment you possess and wear until it is either worn out or you weary of it.
Some feelings flair up unbidden, and just as suddenly disappear; others we cling to for most of our lives. Still others we try on and think - hmmm...that fits - only to discover when we look in the mirror that it really doesn't suit us.
Like any garment, feelings that are worn for an extended period of time need to be evaluated for soil and damage. Emotions need an occasional airing, a purifying if you will, to keep from being offensive to others, and to ourselves. Even those we chose to always live in, the ones that become like a second skin.
Sometimes a little scrubbing will do the trick; at others, they need to be discarded altogether - no matter how much we may want to cling to them! And sometimes, with just a little alteration, they can fit again perfectly.
What emotions are you wearing right now? Do you need a change of wardrobe?