It was official. Not one tear. Not even the slightest tingle. You know, the one that turns into that nasal burning sensation just before your eyes begin to fill up with water.
I’d made it a whole day without crying. Chalk one up to manhood. To emotional control. I did it.
I was 7.
I’m not sure where I got the idea that men and emotion don’t mix. It wasn’t overtly taught to me. But let’s face it, I don’t ever remember seeing Magnum P.I. bearing his soul to Higgins over a box of Kleenex. Not with that manly mustache.
So I kicked crying to the curb. I learned to take control of the underlying triggers that led towards those embarrassing emotional displays. I identified them, then I stopped feeling them. I numbed.
Dulling the pain of being picked last for kickball seems harmless enough. Perhaps even mature (the neighbor kids just couldn’t appreciate my special brand of awesomeness). But when those subliminally learned behaviors take root in how I interact (or struggle to interact) with my wife, my daughter, or the rest of the world around me, the negative effects of emotional compression begin to emerge.
When music is recorded in a professional studio, the final mixes are run through a digital compressor. While the full range of these sound waves can be experienced in an acoustically-treated room through a pair of $4,500 audio monitors, that same music wouldn’t sound right on my car stereo or over my built-in MacBook speakers. They can’t handle richness. The compressor smashes the sound waves into a narrow channel so the music can be better experienced on lower quality equipment.
I fear that’s the way a lot of us live. Compressed. Squished. Low-fi.
We’ve learned to protect ourselves from the lowest lows, and in turn, sacrifice the highest highs. We numb the pain, and we also stop feeling the joy.
And it’s understandable. Life can be excruciatingly painful. Tragic even. But I often wonder how much more beautiful it could be if we didn’t avoid feeling it. All of it. Uncompressed.
What do you think? Is that even possible? Healthy? Can we protect ourselves against pain without also dulling our ability to experience joy? Does God fit into this dialog, or is this just human psychology?
- George Krickl published the blogpost Poor in Spirit: Paul and Barnabas Discipleship Continued.
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- Doris SwiftOur greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter.” ― D.L. Moody
- Doris SwiftEmerge from ordinary into extraordinary; rise above, set apart, walking in the plan as He directs the steps...
- Doris SwiftIf you're feeling stuck in your writing journey~remember, every new idea-every word written propels you forward
- Jon StallingsIf we focus our prayers just on Jesus delivering us from the trials of life, we have set up our own life as an idol
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- Leon Bloder published the blogpost Shouldn't All Christians Be Universalists At Heart?.
- Jennifer Alayo-AguilarI am so excited to be here. This is something new that I have never tried before. I am glad to be alive to witness this, a blog post check-out site for Christians around the country, the world to connect with one another. The mini-neighborhood is pretty good. Say prayers for me, my husband, and the rest of our family as we get our lives back together and get on the right track with Jesus Christ. Amen.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Livestream Simply Youth Ministry Conference be a part of it!.
- George BullardMarch 8th: Transform Congregations By Radical Missional Engagement #365SSIFTC http://bullardjournal.blogs.com/bullardjournal_microblog/2014/03/march-8th-transform-congregations-by-radical-missional-engagement-365ssiftc.html
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- Greg Winfield published the blogpost The Blessing of Struggle – Do You Know What You’re Made of?.
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- Mike Liebler published the blogpost 10 Reasons Why Youth Ministry Is A Strategic Career Choice.
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- Matthew Tan published the blogpost "Justice, Unity & the Hidden Christ": Review in Ethika Politika.
- Brian Dodd published the blogpost The Top 10 Leadership Posts I Read The Week Of March 3rd.
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- Allen O'Brien published the blogpost Mark Driscoll’s Publishing Tactics Trigger A Golden Age For Christian Publishing.
- Brad Russell published the article FaithVillage Expands Church Partnerships with 10 New Features.
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- Jotham David Parker published the video Truth (Christian Dance Hymn. Full Song with Lyrics).
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- FRANK NADJOMBE created a new gallery
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- Matt Perman published the blogpost Although Amazon is Sold Out, Barnes and Noble and Westminster Bookstore Still Have Copies.
- Brad RussellLots of Lenten posts from our blog community, make sure you check some of them out.
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- Jim McNeely published the blogpost The Cross of Christ Declares that God Understands my Suffering.