Navigating emotion

Emotions. Feelings. They seem to dominate us sometimes. The strong blow of emotion can carry away rational thought and drive people to behavior thought unimaginable.


We all experience emotions; we are designed to feel. To feel opens up love, satisfaction, joy, but it also opens us to feel difficult emotions, such as shame, rage, and fear. Psychology puts a lot of effort into helping us understand the range of emotion, and we have a right to feel that entire range. Extreme emotion is defined as “passion” and can be used for great or destructive outcomes.


Let’s look at emotion as it feels -- like a wave, or even a force, or a wind. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, recognized the chimerical nature of emotion and passion, and references passion in her Bible term glossary entry on wind:

WIND. That which indicates the might of omnipotence and the movements of God's spiritual government, encompassing all things. Destruction; anger; mortal passions. (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 597)


Mary Baker Eddy studied the Bible intensely and sought to unveil its spiritual power in her writings, with the intention that we are each able to utilize the Bible for healing and empowerment


When an emotion comes, what is its chord? Does it sound or feel like the movement of God’s government of good action, in which we would let it carry us, or is it a gusty, turbulent chord, trying to push us off course? In the case of the latter, we would push against it, in order to stay our course. We can feel the emotion, like we can feel the wind, but it does not have to control us.


This is how we navigate emotion. It is a wind. It will pass. But, better yet, we are able to quell the winds, as Jesus did many times while sailing a course on a boat (literally), and keep them from throwing us off. The wind may be boisterous and loud, but to Jesus, there was no storm to be afraid of, and hence no dangerous reaction to it.


Jesus knew God’s steadfast presence as divine Love, a power that reigns as harmony. The steadfast love includes certainty of protection. That steadfast certainty and love exists for each of us, and it is always leading us rightly, on a course of purposeful, productive, harmonious activity and relationships. Emotions are not God and we cannot be made to treat them as such. We get to live in a place of emotional sobriety, with control over our actions and reactions, thereby unable to hurt or be hurt. This is the protective stance that Christian Science helps us gain.


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