Articles From the March 1995 Unification News
When Your Heart Chills Out, Part 4
We have previously noted that we tend toward "emotional constipation." That is, we block out unwanted feelings and in the process plug up our capacity for love and enthusiasm. Our negative feelings must be released and our hearts healed or we spend much of our energy in numbing ourselves and suppressing these impulses. It then becomes necessary to embrace our own fallen nature, just as an Abel-type person is to embrace the person in the Cain position and bring him into natural surrender.
This is not approval, but simple recognition that even our worst impulses are God-given nature wrongly directed. It is the true parents' response to even the most delinquent child--a wholehearted acceptance, belief in divine potential and willingness to support the painful transition necessary. This is disarming and opens the other to receive guidance and change.
In this part we will examine further this idea of acceptance of our darkest feelings and how it works.
The power of acceptance
This acceptance unblocks the former impasse. Once the rage and frustration over being rejected and suppressed is gone, there is a natural progression towards more positive feelings. Our hearts move through the reactions of anger, hurt and fear to the proactive feelings of goodwill, repentance and forgiveness.
Again, acceptance is neither resignation nor approval. It is the recognition that the feelings exist, that there is a reason why they exist, and that they must be expressed before they can be restored as a source of constructive power.
In order to do this we have to curb the two bad habits of any arrogant Abel. The first is a tendency to judge our fallen nature constantly. After all, these feelings are "terrible," "unprincipled" and besides, they make our lives messy and miserable. So we accuse them and tell them they have no right to exist. We demand that they change and behave themselves and stop bothering us.
The other bad habit is that of "tuning out" our Cain nature in order to escape it. We don't want to deal with these unacceptable feelings so we just anesthetize ourselves. We keep sedated in any number of ways--keeping busy, indulging in pleasures and distractions--to avoid our rejected emotions' nagging demands to be given an audience.
Not for the faint-hearted
To actually deal with our fallen nature responsibly and restorationally requires a tremendous act of will. We have to grapple with our inner enemy far beyond the point of inconvenience, distaste and even revulsion. It requires great determination and courage. Like puncturing and probing our skin with a needle to extract a splinter, willpower is needed to endure the pain and resist the impulses to recoil and escape so that the irritant can be taken out and the wound cleansed and dressed. This is particularly true if the splinter is old and skinned over, or if our deepest emotional wounds are covered by layers of defenses.
We have to deliberately sit with our own forbidden feelings and let them come out in an atmosphere of acceptance. This must continue until the process is finished. What determines when the process is done? Just as it is the Cain person who certifies that his heart is won over and Abel is victorious, so our fallen nature testifies to us when it has been subdued by love. In other words, our negative feelings no longer bother us. Instead their energy is now transformed and empowers us to live more for others.
Embracing our fallen nature means first having to feel God's love for us. In my own case, it was the hardest thing. The very thought provoked negative feelings. Through affirmative words repeated over and over, supportive friends and other influences, God has been working to give me courage enough to face the feelings I have not wanted to deal with. As I do so, I discover new freedom, energy, strength and love. I've found that I do care. My Ice Age has begun to thaw--I've even noticed a few crocuses poking through.
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