Years ago I wrote a book titled The Voice of the Heart: A Call to Full Living. It is about feelings and living how we are created to live. That was almost twenty years ago. I have continued to work in the field of “living life on life’s terms” and continue to experience the struggles and joys of life on life’s terms daily. I have also continued to discover how true it is that we are made for relationship—with our own hearts, the hearts of others, and the heart of God. We cannot live life fully unless we are living fully in relationship. That is one of the realities of “life’s terms.” We are created a certain way, and we can surrender to that reality daily for our benefit.
Living life on life’s terms and in relationship means that we will have to struggle with feelings, and let them be of benefit. I deeply believe that God gave us the capacity to feel as tools that allow us to find full life in a tragic place. We have been given sadness, loneliness, fear, anger, hurt, shame, guilt, and gladness as gifts that let us live well.
I offered a prayer at the end of The Voice of the Heart that I want to offer again. I still find it true and needed. I want us to continue to gain the benefit of proper powerlessness in a world that wears us out demanding that we always seek the advantage of power. I want us to continue to find that surrendering to how we are created is not defeat, and acceptance of our longings and hopes is not foolish.
I continue to pray that:
We will feel our feelings, tell the truth, and give it to God, as we trust the process of living.
We will let our tears flow and our anger create, but do no harm.
Our loneliness will help us reach for those we need and help us be available to those who need us.
Our sadness will value life, and our hurt bring healing, not death, though there will be scars.
Our fear will be the beginning of wisdom.
Through forgiveness and change our guilt will lead us to humility and freedom.
We will pursue real heart truths, that our joy will be complete; and,
I pray that we will long for more life and deeper truths with each other and God.
Chip Dodd, PhD, is a teacher, trainer, author, and counselor, who has been working in the field of recovery and redemption for over 30 years. With his clinical experience, love of storytelling, and passion for living fully, Chip developed a way of seeing and expressing one’s internal experience called the Spiritual Root System™. To read more from Chip, visit his blog, or check out his books.