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Introduction

Growing up, I loved Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I wanted to spend time in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe with King Friday and Lady Elaine Fairchilde. I dreamed about Trolley rolling through my home and walked a bit taller when I was reminded I was special just by being me. When I had kids I was thrilled to discover the cartoon, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, based on the characters from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, and even more excited when both of my kids loved it. During the height of COVID stay at home orders, they were 2 and 4 so Daniel Tiger and his friends were the perfect companions to help give language to their feelings and experiences. Following in Mister Rogers’ footsteps, these lessons were often taught in song form, and one of our favorites contains the lyrics, “Sometimes you feel two feelings at the same time, and that’s okay.” I cannot tell you how many times we’ve all reminded each other of that truth using Daniel’s words over the last several years. 

 

This is clearly an important concept to understand that we see throughout children’s art and media. The crux of the movie Inside Out is rooted in the same idea. (Spoiler Alert – but it’s also been out for 9 years, so….) The movie starts with the main character’s emotions taking turns controlling her one at a time creating memories that are coded as joy, anger, disgust, sadness, or fear. But after a series of mishaps, a single memory is coded as both joy and sadness, unlocking a new awareness that our lives are often far more complex than what can be described by discrete emotions. 

 

This is something we know as adults, but can still struggle to discuss well. It can be hard to name one emotion we’re feeling, much less accurately describe the combinations and their relation to one another. The art we enjoy as adults is just as focused on these ideas as kids’ media, it’s just  not always as clear and instructive. But maybe it should be? 

 

Let’s get together this weekend and see what happens when we discuss what it looks like to feel two feelings at the same time, and whether or not, in practice, we actually think it’s okay.

Laura Holland and the teaching team

Leading Questions

Do you recall a scripture that made you feel like you needed to disconnect from your emotions? How might you approach it now?

Are there better questions we should be asking when approaching scripture? How do we avoid a pendulum swing?

 

Text

Mark 9:24, Romans 7:19 (NET)

Images, Music, and Poems

 

What’s next?

John teaches on joy.

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Grace Church of Northwest Arkansas is a nondenominational community of Christ-followers committed to loving others, living out the Gospel and serving in Jesus’ name. We stand with the marginalized and welcome folks of all races, genders, and sexual orientations.

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