Nothing more than feelings

Standard

A while back I wrote about the need to put my feelings on a leash. Managing them instead of letting them manage me. This continues to be a long, hard process.

Today I stumbled on this site, a collection of feelings from the net. The site searches blogs for sentences including the words “i feel” or “i am feeling”. It is a really incredible site and I was fascinated!

Because blogs are structured in largely standard ways, the age, gender, and geographical location of the author can often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written. All of this information is saved.

The result is a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 – 20,000 new feelings per day. Using a series of playful interfaces, the feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions like: do Europeans feel sad more often than Americans? Do women feel fat more often than men? Does rainy weather affect how we feel? What are the most representative feelings of female New Yorkers in their 20s? What do people feel right now in Baghdad? What were people feeling on Valentine’s Day? Which are the happiest cities in the world? The saddest? And so on.

What struck me the most as I browsed around was the overwhelming sense that we are a people overwhelmed by our feelings. It was like the scene from Bruce Almighty where Bruce (who has God’s power for a few days) is receiving thousands of incoming prayer requests that he is trying to answer. I can not imagine how our God, who hears and sees everything, can sort through the muck that we call our feelings. There are so many feelings out there! And we all bounce off of each other… touching, bumping, crashing into one another as we go. I know that some days, I am crying out for someone to recognize and acknowledge my feelings! But then I end up at that same place again, where I MUST a leash on those feelings, and call on the one who made me. Ever feel that way?

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

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