Sunday, June 26, 2011

Overcoming Feelings of Uselessness and Worthlessness

“Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord [and the opportune time].”

~Romans 12:11 (NRSV [footnotes added]).

Even megastars experience feelings of uselessness and worthlessness.

Just the thought of having all we’ve done, or all that we’re doing, as being stripped away is usually enough to achieve this.

We are very much what we do, or how we’re seen.

Whether we like it or not, what we do is mostly attached to what we are, and how we’re seen, because we cannot usually detach our identities from these without some significant impact. This is why having our identities grounded firmly in God is a key. But, practically, this is a much harder thing to attain and maintain (for the many) than we originally suppose.

Why is this so? We live in a world of people and relationships. Our meaning to life is either attached firmly to these relationships, and therefore our self-concept is formed from how these are going, or we get our meaning from God, and so we’re impervious to the same disappointments. (More generally so, however, we fit between these two, or we vacillate between them.) The latter is a difficult place to arrive at.

But, we best strive for it.

Zealous, Ardent Responses to All Life Situations

The more we practice the zealous and ardent response to any and every given life situation the more we’ll achieve it. This is the Joseph response of Genesis 37–50.

But there are times when, like Job, we’re best to just sit and absorb the hurt and disappointment. This is not a loathing in self-pity as much as it’s allowing the full force of feeling to dwell so that it can be processed and so it doesn’t remain longer than is necessary.

So, at the right time it is always best to respond to such despondency.

‘Getting back up on the horse’ of life might be an overused cliché but it’s nonetheless very true.

Faith of the Instant

The trick is instant faith — or active-enough faith to ‘manage’ the instant. This is not so much about the time-instant as it’s describing the situational instant. So, we’re not so much under pressure to respond in ‘this’ time or ‘that’ time. But respond we’re best, generally, to do.

Wisdom is making the most of the opportune time.

Getting past our occasional feelings of uselessness and worthlessness is an exercise, then, of proper context and wisdom. It’s not running from our feelings, but it’s absorbing how we feel as a catalyst for healing the instant, and as a platform for future focus and self-development, so we’re not so prone to the same feelings in the future, if that’s possible.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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