I have been struggling a lot lately with feeling beautiful. Normally I don’t give my appearance a lot of thought — neat and clean and pleasant is my goal, usually. Recently, however, I find myself avoiding mirrors and feeling ugly every time I catch a glimpse of myself in one.

Maybe it’s the knowledge that all eyes will be on me when I share on Sunday. Maybe it’s just a longing for something to change. And since I don’t want to change husband or house .. Myself is about all I have left.

Perhaps the biggest changes shouldn’t be external, but internal. If I’m feeling and thinking bad about myself, but not doing anything about it, something’s wrong. Either I need to change the way I’m thinking, or I need to take my feelings as an emotional indicator of a behavioural change. Probably both.

Emotions are like other senses. We don’t live by what we see, hear, smell, touch or feel, and we shouldn’t live by our surface feelings of sadness, happiness or anger. All the senses and emotions are simply information. Like seeing red-hot embers, hearing sizzles and sparks, smelling smoke and feeling heat warn us of a fire, being sad and angry warn us of spiritual fire and pain. When we sense a physical fire our behaviour changes – we move away, and process whether this fire is safe or unsafe, and whether or not it is usable or should be put out. When we sense a spiritual fire, we should do the same — change our behaviour, and seek more information to make decisions. Too often we don’t change our behaviour or seek information, we simply react, like little children too young to understand.

I don’t want to be emotionally and spiritually immature. Time to take my feelings in charge, instead of letting them be in charge. And I need to figure out what’s really going on, instead of dwelling in the ugliness of my feelings.