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Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?

Thanks, Spotify, for kicking off with Moby's 'Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad'. How did you know? Disappointment is hard to deal with, even if it's nothing more poignant or eternally significant than a paper rejection (see email dated 28/04/2012 14:27). When you invest so much of yourself into something it is hard not to feel such a rejection on a personal level.

So, OK, it sounds a little melodramatic to speak about this as 'suffering', in the grand scheme of things and all that. It is pretty resoundingly a 'first world problem', as Mr. W would be only too happy to point out to me... if he wasn't the one who'd have to pick up the emotional pieces afterwards. Because there is just no escaping that, on the spectrum of feelings it is possible to feel, this one certainly falls some distance from happy. And yet:
"…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)
Do I believe this enough to allow it to take effect in my life? Character and hope are not the consolation prizes, they are the whole deal. God is far more concerned with my character than with my worldly success, and the hope that comes from trusting Him brings far more blessing than any number of paper acceptances. Doubtless this sounds to some like 'religion-as-a-crutch' -- and it would be hard to produce the sort of evidence to convince a hardened skeptic that it wasn't just psychology -- but learning to lean on Him in the hard times has produced material change and forward action way beyond my own capacity, way more tangible and real than vague reassurance. Whereas the 'eat a whole packet of Bourbon biscuits and watch the West Wing for the rest of the day/week' approach, which is often more immediately appealing and reassuring, can at best tide me over until the hurting stops.
"Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
    you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalm 73:23-26)

Edited to add [30/04]: How could I mention Moby's lament without highlighting the psalmist's direct reply? -- the repeated refrain in Psalm 42-43 which sets such a great example of engaging one's reason in the face of acute emotion:
"Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God." (Psalm 42:5,11, 43:5)


Having read this back I've now managed to semi-convince myself that Spotify is spying on my email account...
Anonymous said…
well, at least you waited seemingly calmly for the answer :) remember that there are many people who value your work (and help!!) a lot. and may the next one be a success!
Aww, a *nice* anonymous comment. Thank you! (Although, with a substantial email corpus and several distinctive writing style/niceness markers, de-anonymising does not pose a significant challenge). I await with trepidation the full round of official anonymous comments, which I fear will not be so kind. (And hopefully not so de-anonymisable, cos I'd really rather not know!)

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