When I went through a very difficult period of my life I ended up taking anti-depressants, and they were a valuable part of my life for a time. While they kept me from feeling depressed and sad, they actually kept me from feeling much of anything. I wasn’t depressed (which was good), but I wasn’t happy, either…I wasn’t much of anything.
I took that medication for a time and when I came off of it I was greeted with all kinds of feelings that I had forgotten about. Laughter was from my soul; happiness was found in the oddest of places; coffee commercials made me cry. I had all these rediscovered feelings and I was unsure if I was ‘doing’ them correctly.
And I didn’t always know how to name what I was feeling. I ended up using a ‘feelings wheel’ like the one above. It lists all kinds of words for feelings and emotions, and it was helpful to pinpoint exactly what was going on within me.
Last week I briefly spoke with my mom and amid the conversation she asked if I was feeling okay. She commented that I didn’t sound well and was concerned for me. I admitted that I was fine – and I was – and we continued our quick check-in.
I told the truth to my mom because I am fine. Things are good. School is busy but useful and I’m gaining knowledge and wisdom. My jobs on campus are keeping me busy and I think I’m doing good things through them. My relationships are steady and I have many good friends that keep me entertained, engaged, and satisfied. Honestly, life is fine and good. But there’s been something not quite right and I haven’t been able to identify it.
This morning I went to chapel and it was a good service. We sang songs, we prayed, and we heard the sermon – it was chapel in all its goodness. As Dr. Rigby finished the liturgy for the Table, she said something along the lines of, “Come, eat, the table is set” and in that moment a small voice in my head said …but…but, I’m not hungry...
It was at that moment that I realized what I’ve been feeling, or, in my case, what I haven’t been feeling: I’m not hungry. My life feels like 4 pm – lunch has been eaten and is nearly forgotten and yet I’m not hungry for dinner, either. I’m not excited for what’s next, and I’m not able to enjoy what had come before.
Life is good, things are going as planned, and I’m doing all the correct things, but I’m not hungry. I’m making decent grades, in a great relationship, and have a healthy social life, but I’m not hungry. Life is far from routine, I’m doing unexpected things, and I’m satisfied. But I’m not hungry.
I’m not hungry for my future, for what may come next, for where I’m going. I’m not hungry to help others, to serve those around me, to love my neighbor. I’m not hungry to learn more about God, about the scriptures, about why I’m here. I’m not hungry.
I think it’s more than okay to not be hungry, but it’s a little disconcerting that I am not expecting another meal in the future. I don’t know what my next meal is going to be or where it will come from; I don’t entirely remember what my last meal tasted like or how satisfying it was. I’m kind of in this limbo right now, this 4 pm of life, and it’s not bad, but it’s not entirely good.
God, grow in me a deep hunger, a deep desire for more. May my life rumble and grumble with expectation for the coming meal, and may I once again find that desire for more than what I have had.
much love. sheth.
P.S. – Seriously, I’m good…I’m fine…just wanting to be hungry.