my life experienced a directional shift 18 months ago when yaconelli died. sure, there has been role-shifting and lots of other tangible stuff as a result. but that’s not the shift i’m talking about. there was an unlocking of emotion that seems to have had a “no turning back” impact on my heart.
the second phase of this shift kicked in exactly a year ago this week, when we chose to take a significant redirection path for YS, launching out on a route of reinvention (without being able to see the end-point on the horizon at that point). much of this was cognitive, but has had deep root-level implications for my heart-unlocking.
phase three seems to have occured over a series of two YS exec team retreats, where we dealt with identity issues (personal and corporate). a new level of self-awareness started to come into view, and this seems to have had a side-effect of ramping up this emotionalism in my spirit.
the final phase (at least the last marker in this) was the heart-breaking that occurred in me surrounding my time at jeanne mayo’s youth leader conference, and the significant healing times i had with monty hipp and ron luce (which i referred to earlier, but can’t risk commodifying by blogging about it).
there have been overt implications of all this (like, i understand leadership differently than i did a two years ago, and, therefore, i lead from a different place; and there have been great implications in my marraige). i have untapped a surprising ability to cry, or at least be overwhelmed with emotion, that had previously been unavailable to me.
but the most striking result for me has been this: for a good 10 years, i’ve had a keen sense that god has been involved in my life — in my professional roles, and in my thinking. this has certainly had profound implications. it’s not that i didn’t believe that god was involved in those aspects of my life prior to 10 years ago; it’s that i became aware of it, i could feel it. but what i’m seeing now, maybe for the first time in my life, is a growing awareness that god is actively shaping my heart and emotions. it’s wonderful, of course. but if i’m fully honest, it’s downright terrifying also. for the first time, i’m starting to understand in a non-cognitive way what yaconelli was always talking about when he referred to jesus as terrifying.
one of the scary things about tapping into emotion is that they’re not all good emotions (like warmth and compassion). a smaller part of this is that i also seem to have tapped into a new reservoir of rage that i didn’t know was possible from me. i think i’d always truncated it in the past. not that i’ve acted out on this occaisonal rage (other than the time i almost strangled our dog for tearing up the family room carpeting). but my controlled anger bubbles up to a more intense level (which i can only describe as rage) on a regular basis.
the group of guys i met with this week, when i mentioned this — almost as a little verbal sidebar — at the end of my recap of the year, challenged me that i need to get some help with this. initially, i was quite resistent. but i’m choosing to accept the spiritual wisdom of the group, and am blogging about it here as a stake-in-the-ground (look! it’s accountability!) that i won’t blow this off.