Years ago I went through a long season of not wanting to feel any more. I had been reading a lot on psychology and Buddhism and hypnosis, and started experimenting with ‘transcending’ my feelings so as not to have emotional pain and unrest.
Actually, I was successful in ‘not feeling’ for a time.
It was a very powerful time in my life–charmingly dark and powerful. I was also working to develop my psychic abilities, self hypnosis, and vision of the unseen; and I was very successful in my occult interests.
There was a problem though, and I’ll tell you why I wasn’t satisfied with the “New Age” way of living: I became so good at not feeling that I didn’t feel anything. My family and friends had shown me glimpses of love and joy, but I had stopped feeling altogether–no love, no joy, no peace, and so on–and yet, I remembered that I had often felt those good feelings in the past. So slowly I began to soften my heart so I could feel the good parts again, despite the additional torment.
It wasn’t until years later that I learned Jesus really can, and wants to, take away all our pain–that regardless of circumstance we can rest in the fruit of His Spirit. The irony is that to receive the Lord’s peace, we must circumcise our hearts–making ourselves vulnerable by cutting away the skin of our hearts, that the softer part would be out in the open. This is contrary to our thinking because initially it is so painful to sacrifice even our wounds to a God we can’t see; it takes a great deal of trust and faith.
The alternative, however, is the hardening/thickening of the heart–an empowering of the self in order to block out emotional intrusions by building up a defense barrier. This is one of the ways which seems right to man, but leads in the end to death (Prov 14:12). The higher and longer and stronger we build the wall around our hearts, the more we cover up uncleaned wounds, perceive happiness and peace when there is none, and the harder it becomes for the wall to be destroyed.
It’s painful to be vulnerable (thus, the Biblical analogy of circumcision, which I’ve heard is painful as well–and increasingly so with age); but, it’s also necessary to rip emotional problems and wounds out by the roots, which requires entering into the most sensitive places. And it’s not just about reaching the sensitive places, but about allowing Jesus to adequately and thoroughly heal and cleanse us from the inside out. The Lord Himself is the only one trustworthy to handle our hearts, so we can put it all in His hands!