Trouble ahead, trouble behind.

Life is to be lived. Feelings are to be felt.

What becomes most agonizing for me in any given bad situation is not the painful feelings but the suppression of them. When I get violated and refuse to feel violated, I'm not living. When I get I hurt someone and I don't feel guilty, I'm not living. When I get a compliment and I don't beam, I'm not living.

Life is the experience and the reaction to it in our hearts. Without Christ I'd have been too afraid to cry when I'm sad, or laugh when I'm happy, or scream when I'm frustrated. I would never have believed that another could care enough about me to "impose the burden of myself". Now I know that Christ cares about my aches and elation, and I'm not ashamed of them. I won't be told to settle down and contain myself. I've got life abundant, in all flavors.

What I've discovered is that I can enjoy life without being happy. It is the authentic experience of what happens around, the relevance of that experience as God masterpiece, that is joy. As we are created in the image of God, we have consciousness, we have the gift of meaning. We possess something that is greater than the sum of the physical form. Consciousness. The spark of life. And thus, it is an act of worship to pursue the authentic reality of that consciousness as it happens, as the sovereign God has ordained it to happen. To reply with an appreciation for every sensation with the knowledge that is part of this gift called consciousness.

I've been fixated on the "happy" corner of existence. I drew my own lines about how I should experience life, and those lines were inevitably insufficient. When my heart crossed out of those boundaries, resentment came barreling down the path with a vengeance. Far be it from me to see that I was insulting God for giving me eyes to see the world, be it scary; for giving me a heart to feel, be it painful. So I say, relevance is the meaning of being. The real discomfort comes from me trying to make a real experience irrelevant. When unfortunate things happen trying to force a different reaction is agony, like suffocating your soul. To cry when you get hurt feels right. It is giving relevance to the human experience.

I'm going to be a different man. This changes everything.

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