OUR EMOTIONAL OUTLAWS

Fr Jim Cogley


To a large extent our culture is emotionally repressive and most of us are not good at expressing our feelings. In our conversations we seldom talk about our emotions and prefer the shallow waters of conversation to the emotional depths that genuine conversation demands. Particularly, if those feelings are difficult like anger, rage, sadness, loneliness or emptiness, we are programed to view them in a negative light. Difficult emotions are part and parcel of the grief journey and while we can try to evade them for as long as we choose, we can never ultimately avoid them. The word emotion suggests E-motion, energy that needs to be in motion. All emotions, even the most difficult, have a relatively short shelf life of days, provided they are fully embraced. However they can also last a lifetime when we try to avoid them. To feel is the way to heal and it’s when we outlaw our feelings that they will always wait for another day, when they will return and trip us up. This is to remind us that they are sacred parts of who we are. We can never find wholeness and peace without having them on board.