Our Feelings Have Purpose

I am in the process of reading the book THE VOICE OF THE HEART: A CALL TO FULL LIVING written by Chip Dodd who received his Ph.D. in counseling from the University of Texas, MA in English from the University of Mississippi. is the founder of Sage Hill Institute and the Executive Director of the Center for Professional Excellence in Nashville, TN. 

Chip talks about our feelings and their purpose in the book and I’d like to share some of that with you because I believe it is pertinent to widows and all the things that they feels not only in their grief journey but during their entire life.

Feelings are not for feelings’ sake.  They are gifts that we can use to understand our hearts.

You and I have only eight feelings.  We cannot live in fullness without knowing these feelings.  The paradox is that IF we choose fullness, we also choose to experience pain.









The eight feelings are the voice of the heart.  You and I are born knowing and expressing them.

All eight feelings are good.  It’s my behavior or planned behavior that is either good or bad; feelings themselves are good – each feeling is a gift from God.

Each feeling has its own specific purpose in helping us live life fully.

Hurt leads to healing.

Loneliness moves us to intimacy.

Sadness expresses value and honor.

Anger hungers for life.

Fear awakens us to danger and begins wisdom.

Shame maintains humility and mercy.

Guilt brings forgiveness.

Gladness proves hope of the heart to be true.

Very few of us end up thirsty midway through the day and say, ‘Oh, I’m such a bad, weak, stupid person because I need a glass of water.’

Tragically, many of us have this experience with our hearts and say, ‘Oh, I’m a terrible person because I feel angry,’ OR, ‘I feel lonely, so there must be something wrong with me.’  Many of us have been taught that feelings are bad.

When you are not aware of your feelings, your life is lived incompletely.  Whenever you don’t feel, you are blocked from living life to the fullest.  Wherever you lack awareness of your heart, no room for God exists.

LIFE IS HARD AND LIFE HURTS.  HURT IS THE EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL CRY WITHIN US THAT LETS US KNOW THAT WE HAVE PAIN.  It is the common thread that runs through all emotional and spiritual experiences.

It is the cry in your….

loneliness that propels you to reach for deeper relationship.

sadness that allows you to honor your losses with tears.

fear that helps you see the condition of the world and find wisdom in spite of the heartaches.

anger that propels you to pursue your passion.

guilt that lets you seek reconciliation.

shame that helps you know your place.

gladness that allows you to find joy in the midst of life’s transience.


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