About the benefits of overwhelmedness

Thoughts about the most beautiful manifestations of spiritual depths
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1. Our very good reasons why we have banished the term of overwhelmedness from the dictionaries of our time. Nowadays we don’t like being overwhelmed. According to the dictionary, overwhelmedness is „being shocked/shaken caused by a distressing circumstance or a disaster”. The synonyms of overwhelmedness are shock, trauma, grief, consternation, indignation, amazement. Well… It is not a comforting list… If we do not want to be shaken, would it mean that we would like to be unshakable? I wouldn’t believe that this is the public opinion. Warriors of the Middle Ages, the epic heroes should be unshakable. We don’t want to deal with this ‘overwhelmedness thing’. We would like to be happy again together. We have been deprived enough from joy – years in advance. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. About the benefits of overwhelmedness. "Shock, trauma, grief, consternation, indignation, amazement" – what do they have in common? The root cause of overwhelmedness is a radically new situation. A situation, what we cannot react to as we used to. Something, what cannot be avoided, proudly refused, or swept under the carpet. Overwhelmedness happens when something radically evicts us from our comfort zones. What happens to us when we are overwhelmed? We’ve just been given a chance to learn something very new. We’ve been given a chance to improve our survivability. We’ve been given a chance to be really creative. We’ve been given a chance to have a new life… Is it such a big problem? (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. About the real purpose and meaning of overwhelmedness. There is an interpretation of overwhelmedness that we do not realize nowadays. The soul’s overwhelmedness is not a conversation topic today. When does our soul become shaken? The soul’s overwhelmedness is provoked by our experience of the ultimate questions of life. Life, death, love: commitment to someone forever. What happens to our soul when it meets the ultimate questions of life? The most important experience of the shaken soul is that it is not alone. That there is Someone who wants to get connected with our soul. We feel that the overwhelmed soul meets love, don’t we? The love, what wants to give something important to our souls. Love, what wants to grow and improve our souls. The overwhelmed soul meets the inexhaustible love of Jesus and the Father. Even if it feels – lacking the necessary experience – that something so terrible has happened to it that it cannot cope with it. Now, between Easter and Pentecost, let’ think about all these – and let’s wait for, let’s ask for the possibility of overwhelmedness – because we can be enriched by it in a previously unimaginable way. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 


 

1. Our very good reasons why we have banished the term of overwhelmedness from the dictionaries of our time

 

Let me begin my essay with a question. When was the last time, dear Reader, you felt overwhelmed? The probable answer is either related to a death/funeral ("we regret to inform you that…"), or it’s been some consequence of the recent corona virus epidemic. Nowadays we don’t like being overwhelmed. According to the dictionary, overwhelmedness is "being shocked/shaken caused by a distressing circumstance or a disaster". Our house becomes shaken by an earthquake. Let’s remember the recent catastrophe in Zagreb, Croatia when people, forced to stay at home because of the epidemic, had to run to the streets due to the earthquake. There was no peace for them anywhere and any more. “Thank you very much, we’ve got our fair share of overwhelmedness recently…” The synonyms of overwhelmedness are shock, trauma, grief, consternation, indignation, amazement. Well… It is not a comforting list… If we do not want to be shaken, would it mean that we would like to be unshakable? I wouldn’t believe that this is the public opinion. Warriors of the Middle Ages, the epic heroes should be unshakable. We don’t want to deal with this ‘overwhelmedness thing’. We would like to be happy again together. We have been deprived enough from joy – years in advance.

 


 

2. About the benefits of overwhelmedness

 

Let’s calm down, let’s try to keep distance from our everyday troubles and let’s think it over again what the term of "overwhelmedness" means. "Shock, trauma, grief, consternation, indignation, amazement" – what do they have in common? The root cause of overwhelmedness is a radically new situation. A situation, what we cannot react to as we used to. Something, what cannot be avoided, proudly refused, or swept under the carpet. Let’s think about this. Note that those situations that cause overwhelmedness are exactly the situations that confront us with something very new in our own lives. Overwhelmedness happens when something radically evicts us from our comfort zones. Things did not happen as we had expected (that’s how indignation gets among the synonyms). Something very different took place instead of what we had expected (then come consternation and amazement). What happens to us when we are overwhelmed? We’ve just been given a chance to learn something very new. We’ve been given a chance to improve our survivability. We’ve been given a chance to be really creative. We’ve been given a chance to have a new life… Is it such a big problem?

 


 

3. About the real purpose and meaning of overwhelmedness

 

There is an interpretation of overwhelmedness that we do not realize nowadays. The soul’s overwhelmedness is not a conversation topic today. When does our soul become shaken? The root cause here is a radically new situation, too. What can a radically new situation be for our soul? The soul’s overwhelmedness is provoked by our experience of the ultimate questions of life. Life, death, love: commitment to someone forever. What happens to our soul when it meets the ultimate questions of life? It expands explosively. It discovers new dimensions. It could also happen that these new dimensions are painful. It may also happen that the overwhelmed soul withdraws or that it even breaks down. But the experience of survival remains in these cases, too. The most important experience of the shaken soul is that it is not alone. That there is Someone who wants to get connected with our soul. Let’s not remember those moments of overwhelmedness when our loved ones passed away. First let’s think about those of our overwhelmed moments when we held our new-born baby for the first time, when we got married to our spouse, when we first kissed the one we loved, when we discovered something fundamentally important about the essence of life. We feel that the overwhelmed soul meets love, don’t we? The love, what wants to give something important to our souls. Love, what wants to grow and improve our souls. The overwhelmed soul meets the inexhaustible love of Jesus and the Father. Even if it feels – lacking the necessary experience – that something so terrible has happened to it that it cannot cope with it. Now, between Easter and Pentecost, let’ think about all these – and let’s wait for, let’s ask for the possibility of overwhelmedness – because we can be enriched by it in a previously unimaginable way. This is the real scandal of Jesus with which He touches us and with which He has rewarded our life – forever. Amen.

 

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