Thursday, December 22, 2016

Organize your Emotions- Optimize your Life

On Friday evening last, I heard a key-note speech by a woman who has written a book with the title, Organize your Emotions- Optimize your Life.  That's a catchy/appealing title, eh?

She was an excellent speaker and had some excellent visual aids.  The talk seemed very well received.  Her thesis is that all humans have 9 emotions battling for dominance inside of us.  The emotion that is winning is the one we express at that time.  By understanding these 9 emotions and cultivating the ones we need the most, and recognizing the more dominant and recessive emotions, we can organize them and live happier, more fulfilled lives.  She used her own wrestling with her desire to "take brain breaks" to illustrate her points.

Soooo, apparently if I buy her book, and organize my emotions, most of my internal struggles will recede- and at a rapid rate!  Sounds good.

Some of my graduate students were sitting in nearby seats hearing the same presentation.  They asked me, "What did you think of that?"

Good question!  What do YOU think of that?- and I realize I have compressed a 45-minute talk into just a few lines.  But what do you think of her basic premise?

I answered, "She is a bright lady, and clearly she has given a LOT of thought to this and come up with a thoughtful, interesting approach to a very real problem.  In fact, she is addressing a problem brought up by the Apostle Paul over two thousand years back.

Romans 7:14-25  says,  "14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin."
So, the author has addressed an age-old problem- the war within between our old sin nature and our desire to overcome evil.  The author means well in suggesting we overcome evil with better "organization".  Paul draws a different conclusion- "Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
I think Paul got it right!

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