Quick, name two positive emotions and two negative emotions. Got them? Feel free to write them down, or just remember them. Guess what? It was a trick question. Emotions aren’t positive or negative, they’re just emotions. In a society such as our that tends to moralize our emotions, the concept I just proposed is a strange one. But it’s true.
Now, we might like some emotions more than others. We prefer happiness to despair, exhilaration to fear, triumph to embarrassment. But emotions in themselves have no moral value in any direction. They’re not good or bad. They’re not positive or negative. They’re just emotions.
God is a lover, and He’s constantly writing us unsigned love notes. To the soul that knows love, it sees signs of His presence everywhere, though others don’t recognize it.
Some of the women that Larry Nasser abused forgave him, but that doesn’t mean he should get out of prison. Same for JPII’s would-be assassin. Forgiveness is not pardon. Nor is it condoning, forgetting, reconciliation, and it’s definitely not easy.
We tend to assume our emotions are permanent, that we will always feel the way we’re currently feeling. And, we can amplify them into the future, as told humorously in Thanks for the Feedback: you might be embarrassed because you had something stuck in your teeth the whole date, but you amplify it into “I will die alone.”