I enjoy figuring out the internal world of emotions, feelings, and how the past affects what we choose today. It is like a giant puzzle. I love reading books on how our brain is developed and how counseling brings coherence to our stories and changes how our brain functions. I am just about always observing my own thought and emotional process.
I lived with a gentleman that did none of this. It was rare that he would say something like, “you think I do this because of this?” Maybe three times in the entire two years I lived and worked with him. He just saw a behavior and changed it. If something made him mad he was mad. If he should not have been mad he realizes it and then doesn’t get mad again.
No analyses. No working through emotions to find out reasons causes etc. No mulling over why there is angst, pain, or hurt. He just accepts, “yup. That sucks” and then in a few hours he will be over it. He is perfectly successful and takes care of his fiancé and his friends well.
Typically this makes me uncomfortable. Most people I know that just decide to ‘change’ are really just ignoring issues. They don’t work through past pain and trauma and then their expectations and coping mechanisms affect me. I prefer my way. Or I did.
I mull over the same experience for weeks. I try and find the root of the roots, root cause. If I just find the past experience and base motivation then, maybe, I can change my feelings. This is a good skill in that I can usually communicate how and why I feel what I feel. But it is not good when the same issue keeps coming up over and over again.
Brain scans show that bringing coherence to past experiences changes how our brain functions. But if constant mulling over the past causes other bad behaviors, or delays change in behavior it can be bad.
God does command constant self evaluation. We are commanded to do good. God tells us that, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
Sometimes does obedience take internal processing? Absolutely. Sometimes just choosing never seems to work. But other times we need to just let our feelings go, get over ourselves, and choose a different path. Choosing in this manner, like anything else, is a skill that must be practiced. But it is a good skill to have in the endeavor to live well and love well.