There's hardly ever a time in life when we've had only one feeling about something, and yet most of us are conditioned to judge and label an event with one word: good, bad, happy, sad--you get the picture. And that picture is really more of an animation than a true photo, a shadow of the reality. I'm not saying that I truly want the whole picture. Thoreau's...
Think back to your joyful moment.
- What were the consequences of that moment?
- What did you feel then? Later?
- What did that moment mean?
- Were there any twinges you felt?
Write them down. They may stick out now. You may need to make them part of another document. It doesn't matter. While you're stuck in only one emotion, you're not letting yourself see. Even if you never share the other feelings--good, bad, or otherwise--the act of seeing them, recognizing them, and articulating them is important. Depending on the momentousness of the occasion you chose--and I asked you to choose a joyful one on purpose--those secondary emotions may be easy to verbalize or they may escape you all together. You may find yourself turning to music or images. Even the best among us have those moments when words escape us, and telling us that--literally writing, "My heart raced like the violins in 'The Hall of the Mountain King,'" or, "I was filled with the same wonder I felt the first time I gazed over the Atlantic as a child and realized I couldn't see a beach on the other side"--is fine. Even Ezekiel wrote, "It was like unto the likeness of...".
The goal is to see. Next week we will work on helping others see what you do.