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Good day my good friends!

Many years ago when I was continuing my education in theology and ministry, I took a course called Clinical Pastoral Education. This course is designed to prepare pastors for ministry in clinical settings such as hospitals. It was a fascinating though intense course lasting for many months full-time in a hospital, with a mixture of classes and practicums.

The director was the Protestant chaplain of the hospital. A good teacher. I remember one week he taught us all about emotions. He had us try to name feelings from things people said. He would say something… quote a palliative care patient, for example… and we had to define the emotion being expressed. He also had us try to analyze each other’s emotions. Finally, he had us attempt to describe our own emotions… the way we were feeling at any certain time.

At first glance, many people might think this is easy. But, surprise surprise, it is not. Most of us are horribly deficient in the skill of being able to name an emotion. This could be for a number of reasons, the most common ones being that we were taught and trained how to judge, condemn and suppress our emotions. Later we were groomed to be ashamed of them and to punish them. Especially if they were negative in nature.

I have learned that our feelings are just feelings. Emotions exist. They simply are. Period. There is nothing wrong with them.

Right here I will make an announcement: you are allowed to feel what you feel.

Now I encourage you to understand what you feel. Name your emotions. Try to define and describe how you feel. Write them down. Share them with someone.

Maybe you don’t know how. I’m here to help!

Above is a chart… an emotion wheel… that I found which I hope will help you. If you need it. You can GO HERE to print it.

Again, I encourage you to feel. Get in touch with your feelings. Try to define them. Describe them. Write them. Express them. Talk about them. Feel them!

This doesn’t mean you have to act on them. But you are allowed to feel them. In fact, you DO feel them.

I claim it is healthiest to embrace them.

I love how you guys emote on TLS.

With love (I’m feeling it!),