Our Deepest Emotional Hunger

Delight – noun: a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture: She takes great delight in her job.something that gives great pleasure: The dance was a delight to see.

verb (used with object)to give great pleasure, satisfaction, or enjoyment to; please highly: The show delighted everyone.verb (used without object)to have great pleasure; take pleasure (followed by in or an infinitive): She delights in going for long walks in the country.

taken from dictionary.com

We all get hungry. We all spend a significant part of our days doing things related to getting, preparing, eating, and cleaning up after food. I once went on an extended fast, (I wont tell you how long because you might think I am bragging,) and I discovered something unexpected. I discovered just how much time in a week is spent related to eating. The answer: gobs.

Nothing wrong with this, mind you. We have a basic need for energy to sustain life. We also have emotional hungers by design. We were designed to love, care, take joy, express sorrow, have fear, and etc. Without this dynamic in our life we are not really acting fully human. But there is another emotional hunger we have.

I suggest to you that there is one basic, fundamental hunger that we all have that we hardly ever talk about or acknowledge. We hunger for someone – at least one human being – to delight in us. We hunger to know that feeling that there is something special about us that warrants someone else delighting in that something. We want to have someone in our life that gets a big huge smile inside when they think about us. That is my definition of delight.

The following comes from the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research and can be found at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4225959/

Human beings are social species which require safe and secure social surroundings to survive. Satisfying social relationships are essential for mental and physical well beings. Impaired social relationship can lead to loneliness. Since the time of dawn, loneliness is perceived as a global human phenomenon. Loneliness can lead to various psychiatric disorders like depression, alcohol abuse, child abuse, sleep problems, personality disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. It also leads to various physical disorders like diabetes, autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, hypertension (HTN), obesity, physiological aging, cancer, poor hearing and poor health. Left untended, loneliness can have serious consequences for mental and physical health of people. Therefore it is important to intervene at the right time to prevent loneliness, so that physical and mental health of patients is maintained.

The solution is not to be around other people. You can be surrounded by people and still suffer debilitating loneliness. This loneliness does not come from the absence of people in our lives.

I suggest the this prevalence of loneliness and the resulting consequences is rooted in the hunger to be delighted in… and delighted in NOT for our actions (past, present, or future) but in US – who we are. To be seen as special despite our failures and foibles is critical to mental health.

I also suggest two solutions. 1) Seek to know the truth about how special you are to the One who knows you through and through, front to back, inside and out… including all of our thoughts. Seek to know how special you are to your Creator. It is surprisingly simple to find that out. Read the four Gospels. 2) Seek to find and spend time with true followers of Christ – not moralistic religious folk, but real Jesus lovers. I suggest you might find honest acceptance and delight for who you are, warts and all.

There is a reason Jesus of Nazareth reduced all of God’s expectations for His Children into two commands: 1) Love the Lord your God with all you heart, mind, soul, and strength, and 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. (read for yourself in Mark 12:28-31) When a person does these two things and surrounds her/himself with people doing the same, you will find that this deepest hunger in your life will not only be filled, it will be filled to overflowing.

To talk more about this, email me at jimshaul@gmail.com

For more of my thoughts, go to https://www.jimshaul.org

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