Thoughts on Emotions: An Inside Out Reflection

inside out poster

Yesterday I ran against time to watch Inside Out – the latest Disney Pixar movie about getting to know our emotions. It was a really cool movie and the fought we did against time to be able to watch it was worth it. Even the hefty cinema ticket price (I rarely watch movies in movie houses) was worth it.

It was not a movie for kids though. Kids may love the animation, etc. but the whole impact of the story will be felt by adults. It was a movie for adults – about reflecting on how we handle our emotions.

Psychologists would love the movie. I believe it creates for them the same effect that Osmosis Jones has created for me and for any biologist / medical practitioner familiar with the characters and scenes.

Rational vs Emotions

I have always prided myself at being objective and analytical. Since I was young, I grew up learning never to let my emotions overcome my rational thinking and make decisions for myself. In Inside Out, the movie shows 5 basic emotions that influence our decisions for how to go about the day.

The Emotions in Inside Out

There’s Joy, the happy and positive emotion that influences us to always look at life in a positive way and to react with a smile even when faced with challenges. Joy pushes us to look for solutions and opportunities amidst challenges and trials.

Then there’s Anger, a default reaction when things do not seem to go our way. Anger influences us to pursue certain courses of action just because we are not satisfied with the current situation. There is actually righteous anger which causes us to seek justice when we see injustice and then there’s unrighteous anger which is the one that’s out of control and causes us to break laws just to achieve things. The former is positive and creates positive results while the latter is negative resulting in hurtful situations and thus is best avoided.

inside-out-poster-disgust-fear-joy-sadness-anger

There’s Fear who, as the movie says, keeps us safe. Because of Fear, we learn to avoid things that could otherwise be harmful for us. While it’s wrong to live life in fear of everything, the right amount of fear is actually necessary for us in life. I recall an episode in Gotham where the antagonist sought to eliminate fear in his life. Because he did so, he was unable to perceive danger and end up dying. Unhealthy levels of fear meanwhile prevents us from accomplishing anything in life because we end up too afraid to take any form of risk. A healthy balance is always encouraged.

There’s Disgust who, I will relate to indignation. Because of Disgust, we are able to choose things that would make us feel or look good. We are able to form opinions of what we want and what we don’t want.

And then there’s Sadness, whose initial function was not revealed in the film. The film actually revolved around finding out the purpose of Sadness. The character, Riley, has been led by Joy all her life and Sadness has been delegated a role in the background. All the other emotions don’t understand Sadness’ purpose and this pushed Sadness to be sad all the more.

But in reality, as the movie shows, Sadness is important. When we give in to Sadness and acknowledge this emotion, we encounter comfort. And sometimes, when Joy, Fear, Disgust and Anger are out of ideas to identify what is wrong with us we need Sadness to bring in comfort and fix things.

Rationalizing Emotions

If I were to imagine the 5 emotions in my head, I would have to add another one and name her – Rationality. She’s the one who’s always analytical and critical. I’m the type of person who doesn’t let my emotions overcome me. I acknowledge what I feel then quickly analyze why I felt that way and if I can help it, take the next course of action not base on emotions but base on rational decisions.

It’s not always easy but time and time again, with practice, I’ve proven that I can handle it.

In the movie, the person’s personality is dependent on the major emotion player – the one who handles most of the control. In my head, I imagine it’s Rationality who handles most of the controls hence my personality of being analytical. There are drawbacks of course but as I get to know more of my other emotions and become more in touch with them, the drawbacks have minimized.

I have learned to laugh more and let loose and beĀ kalog in my own way. I’ve learned to acknowledge sadness and the depressive outlook it brings in life but also stop it before it gets out of hand. I’ve learned to express anger and stand up for my own needs and rights. I’ve learned to identify danger and not be too reckless. My overriding emotion would be joy out of all the rest. I know I’m a fun person although combined with rationality, I am a “tamed” fun person. I know when to have fun and when to be serious.

Introspection

Inside Out is a movie that will make you reflect on who you are inside. It shows how we, as humans, adjust to our surroundings depending on our emotions. It makes you see how you make decisions as influenced by what you feel.

It’s a good movie not really for all the colors and fun characters in it (which is a great plus!) but for the underlying message it contains.

It will also make you aware of the emotions you feel and make you realize that emotions can be really complicated – but when you acknowledge them and think them through, life doesn’t really have to be complicated.

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When we get older, the basic emotions overlap and lead to more complex emotions.

It’s definitely a movie I’d gladly watch a second time and ranks in my Top 5 Best Movies of All Time.

Reflections on an Alabaster Jar

Perhaps the most poignant message I would always hear from church is about God’s grace and how I am no longer to live in shame. Such messages would always speak so closely to my heart and is something I love to hear again and again. It refreshes my spirit who at times is tempted to listen to the lies of the enemy concerning my guilt. 
You see, I have experienced what it’s like to be saved and absolved from the guilt and shame of my past sins. Sins that have consequences which I would always encounter and battle. Consequences that are a constant reminder of the wrongs I’ve committed against my family, my self and God. 

But last Sunday’s message revealed once again how I am no longer to live in that shame. That I am now forgiven and are called to live in victory. 

Luke 7:36 – 48

The message about the immoral woman who wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair and tears annointing Him with alabster jar of expensive perfume is a story on what it means to be forgiven and be redeemed from your shame. 

The Sinful Woman and the Self-Righteous Pharisee

Here was a woman, considered sinful by society annointing Jesus’ feet. Jesus was at the home of Simon the Pharisee who he has cured of leprosy. Simon was indignant that Jesus would let a sinful woman touch him. He had forgotten that he too was once ostracized by society for his disease (leprosy was considered an unclean disease and the result of sin) and now he was cured and accepted. Simon, although cleansed still lacked the revelation that he was also forgiven for his sins. 

Yet the woman, clearly aware of her immense transgressions felt in every fiber of her body the forgiveness Jesus offered. 

Tears. Hair. Kiss. Perfume. 

Tears – Let the tears flow and let the hurts go. 

She wept and let her tears flow releasing all the hurt she felt from her years of wallowing in her sin. Her years of bondage were over and she was letting go of all the hurt by crying it all out to Him. 

Psalm 56:8 says: 

You keep track of all my sorrows.You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

God cares for each of our troubles. He has seen each tear we wept and hears each cry we raise up. 

It is alright to cry and call out to Him. Nothing is in vain. In time, He will answer and make things clear. 

Hair – Leave your pride and see that God’s on your side. 

As she wept, she let her hair wipe Jesus’ feet. Jesus’ feet was probably dirty and crusty – full of mud and dust from the unpaved roads outside. Yet here she was washing Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiping it with her hair. Her hair which was her crowning glory – the one that defines her beauty. Now forgotten. Used like a rag cloth. 

Hair symbolizes her pride. Her pride which she now laid humbly at Jesus’ feet. The source of her beauty now offered for Him. 

When we let go of our pride, we realize that we need a God who is bigger than us to solve our issues in life. We also recognize that we have a God who has forgiven and forgives our sins. And armed with this humbling knowledge we are able to draw near to Him. 

Kiss – God’s love is felt when you have no room for guilt

As she wept and wiped His feet she kissed it repeatedly. Kissed it with the lips that had probably kissed a dozen more and been the source of her sins. Doing so symbolizes her confidence of her forgiveness. She now has peace that her spirit was restored. Her lips which caused her sin before now bring forth her healing and restoration. 

What comes out of our lips? Are they words that encourage and uplift or are they words thag cause strife and depression? Are we sources of positivity or sources of negativity?

Perfume – The best you give becomes the legacy you leave

And the alabaster jar of expensive perfume she gave? It was worth a year’s wages. It was the tool of her trade. For her to give it up to Jesus showed she wanted him to have her very best. She came prepared to offer Him not just something but her everything. 

It also showed she was unwilling to go back to her former trade and she is giving up her last remaining link to her trade. 

She gave her best. She gave her all. There was no turning back. Her life was now Jesus’. 

What she did left a legacy. The gospels recorded that Jesus ordered for her story to be told throughout history. And now we know of her feat. 

Life Application 

I too have been forgiven. From a sin so great and shameful. Now I live my life, free of guilt; full of peace; full of love. 

You can live yours this way too. Just call Jesus. He is ready to forgive no matter how seemingly big our sins are. 

Week 5: Planetshakers Live in Manila

planetshakers

Who are the Planetshakers? They are simply the best worship band from Australia. Back in my college days, I was only aware of Hillsong as the famous band from down under. But ever since I started attending Jesus Rocks (the church I belong to right now) I have been exposed to a lot of contemporary worship Christian music and by contemporary I mean those that can make you sing, dance, and even headbang!

Listening to their music over the last months has definitely empowered me and helped me draw closer to Jesus. When there are times I feel down – wondering if all His promises are really true and if I am indeed headed to my great destiny – I just pop in a song from the band – Limitless, Turn It Up, Nothing is Impossible or any other song form their albums – and my spirit is immediately boosted up.

There’s a definite sense of confidence and faith building whenever I am led to worship through their songs.

I am writing this blog down – way before my other week entries because I just have to convey to words how great the concert was. It was more than just a concert. It was a glimpse of how amazing heaven would be when we would have unlimited time to worship God – worship Him using the kind of music that speaks to us.

You see, worship is not about the songs really. It’s not about the music even. You can have a solemn worship with hymns. You can have a loud worship with rock songs and fast songs. You can have reggae songs as worship songs. You can have country music.

What is important is your heart – a heart that just bursts out of joy and desire to give praise to the One who saved you from your sins; the One who directs your future; the One who has loved you and continues to love you no matter what you do.

Remembering all that Jesus have done for me and all that He continues to do for my life brought out the desire in me to give Him the best worship possible. I jumped. I screamed. I shouted. I hooted. I sang. I headbangged. I was all out.

And I am so proud that it’s not just during big worship concerts I can do this type of worship. I can do it every week. At our church.

Create Momentum

If there was one thing I would keep from the concert – it’s what they shared. About how we ought to aspire to have that great moment with God and use that to create momentum. As they said, we can create good memories about the awesome night, the awesome worship, the wonderful band, the great place, the great company but what they wanted us to have is that one great encounter with God – that encounter that would create a momentum. A momentum that would start to impact a lot of people.

I have always wanted God to use me – use me for a great purpose.

And tonight, I asked for that momentum to begin. And never stop.

All Access Pass

I liked the story about the All Access Pass. One of the worship leader shared how he had to work his way up the ranks. He started by setting up chairs, arranging instruments and practicing until he became a great musician. And he did all of those to have the All Access Pass during the Planetshakers concert and to eventually be playing on the stage.

However, his friend, who was six years old didn’t have to do any of what he did – and one day just had that all-access pass. Why? Because the kid was the son of the boss.

Just like the kid, we have an all-access pass too. An all access pass to our God – our Father who has given us such wonderful promises contained in the Bible. And we don’t need to work for it. Not for a single bit.

The MRT mishap and the Friday rush hour couldn’t stop me from going to this momentous occasion which was a glimpse of heaven here on earth.