Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, provides a free devotional every day. I have posted many of them on another thread: High chair tyrants. The man is brilliant in his writing, and how he zeros right in, tying faith to real life in ways to help us all. He talks nearly every single day about many of the issues that we grapple with here on this board. His words help me so much. Disclaimer: He is a Christian and I know not everybody on this board has that belief. I respect that completely. Whatever your spiritual and religious views, I think there is gold here to be mined. Please take what you like and leave the rest Today's devotion is about emotions. About our feelings. Many of us on this board work so hard not to react out of our feelings. But still to feel them. He gets right to this challenge. (underlines are mine below) ********************************* Contemplation Guarding Your Mind and Heart Monday, September 8, 2014 Paul beautifully speaks of prayer in Philippians (4:6-7): “Pray with gratitude, and the peace of Christ, which is beyond knowledge or understanding [the making of distinctions], will guard both your mind and your heart in Christ Jesus.” It is all right there in very concise form! Teachers of contemplation teach you how to stand guard with both your thoughts and your emotions, both of which tend to be self-referential. Only a deliberately chosen “gratitude,” love, or positivity can stand against this barrage of fear and negativity. Emotions are given to us by God, so that we can fully experience our experiences. The only problem with emotions is that we get addicted or attached to them. We take them as final or substantive. Emotions do have the ability to open you to consciousness, but then they tend to become the whole show. Most human thought is just obsessive, compulsive commentary. It’s “repetitive and useless,” as Eckart Tolle says. I would say the same of emotions. Contemplation allows you to see (contemplata means “to see”) this happening in yourself. An oft quoted aphorism describes this well: “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Contemplation and silence nip the ego and its negatives in the bud by teaching you how to watch and guard your very thoughts and feelings—but from a place of love and not judgment. ************************ This gets right to the heart of several practices and "tools" we talk about on this board---the value of writing a gratitude list every single day in the morning---how that will change our own attitudes for the day. Then, the value of meditation, sitting in silence. This helps me. I hope it helps you.