Emotions – Can you trust them? “Yes,” says Marc Alan Schelske in his newly released book, The Wisdom of Your Heart – Discovering the God-Given Purpose and Power of Your Emotions.
Emotions he says, are given to us by the God who, himself, loves and has emotions. “They (emotions) are almost always telling us something true and important about our inner landscapes or outer circumstances.” We ignore them at our peril.
Marc, a pastor in a south east suburb of Portland, OR was living disconnected from his emotions. I was not so much disconnected from my emotions as much as overwhelmed by them, feeling guilt at their intensity, often believing I was “too much.”
Neither Marc, nor I were relating in healthy ways to our emotions. Both of us needed the same thing – to understand our emotions are the “wisdom of our hearts and to discover the God-given purpose and power of them.”
As did Marc, I learned God is in the pain with me. After two siblings died within 9 months of each other when I was 11 years old, I lived with the fear of losing someone I loved and at the same time buried the sadness of the ones I had lost. Twelve years ago, this November 8th, I lost my one remaining sibling. Grief for all the losses overwhelmed me.
With a wise, godly counselor, I have learned I do not have to be afraid nor be ashamed of my emotions, for example, my fear. For fear and faith can co-exist as my fear drives me to my faith. The same is true of deep sadness. God meets me there
I have found it true what Marc says so clearly: “Emotions are meant to bring to mind crucial information about our hearts and circumstances. Carefully handled, they are messengers of truth. Giving proper and appropriate attention to our emotions is one of the ways we learn and grow. It’s also one of the places the Holy Spirit works most deeply in our lives.”
This book affirms significant truths I have learned about emotions in my own counseling over these past years:
Emotions are one of God’s good gifts to us.
Emotions inform us.
Emotions are not bad. Yes, while they can be skewed by trauma and life experiences, they are not bad in and of themselves.
I appreciate and respect Marc’s openness about his need for a counselor to help him learn new ways of being. I have found helpful the practical steps he suggests when responding to strong, especially hard emotions that threaten to undo me.
The chapter, “The Inner Workings” covers the neuroscience of how our brain works, recent research that gives insight to this God-designed gift. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.
At last – a book about emotions I can give to anyone – without caveats. It covers much of what I have learned in my own counseling and personal/spiritual growth over the past years and here it is, all in one place.
I underlined and when I didn’t have a pencil handy I turned back the corners – I know, I know. I just couldn’t help myself.
I recommend this book without reservations whether you are feeling disconnected from your emotions like Marc, overwhelmed by them like me, or you just aren’t sure and would like to make some changes. It could be the start to unlocking a God-given gift you didn’t know you already have.
Thank you Marc for all the personal work you did and the work of writing about your journey in a coherent, practical, vulnerable way.
Click HERE to find Marc’s book on Amazon