So much of our depression and anxiety occurs because of our constant compulsive behavior. We feel badly and our compulsions crop up to try to help neutralize our pain and help us feel better. It is like our bodies and brains instantly want to heal us, but since these compulsive behaviors have their genesis in our brokenness, they do not help. They only serve to produce more of the feelings we sought to neutralize in the first place and more unwanted behavior is produced.
We should pay attention to our emotions. It is our emotions that are the barometer for where our hearts are and where we are going. These subtle inner shifts in our feeling system are what the Spirit uses to shape us and teach us. It is problematic that we are always trying to dull important emotions and in that way, render the work of the Spirit ineffective. Our pathology springs from our attempts to always dumb down, lock up and forget about the myriad emotions that have been given to us to engage and use.
I think when we are always busy trying to be “contemplative” and get to a deeper level of prayer, we miss something. I think one of the truest forms of prayer is my daughter running through the grass at full speed, saying, “Look at me, Daddy!” She marvels at what her legs can do and is truly abandoned to the moment and the speed at which she carries her little body.