When Feeling Hurts

When Feeling Hurts

Giving up the fear of emotions, for a more authentic relationship with God...
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Feelings are gross. They’re all messy and inconvenient and overwhelming.

They make me feel like a needy, hopeless, emotional, mess.

Yet I need to remember God created us to be emotional, feeling, deep-thinking, kind of people.

Feeling is a topic I have run into a lot lately. So many people asking how to feel, how to allow themselves the freedom and the space to acknowledge pain.

And wow wow wow, am I unqualified to answer such questions. I’m a bottle-upper. I don’t communicate my feelings very well, I let them bottle up inside until there’s no more room and then I explode into one massive puddle of tears and anger and frustration. However, I have experienced many emotions along this road of life, and for the sake of all you bottle-uppers, here is a piece of what I’ve learned…

I have spent a great deal of my life attempting to avoid being a “moody” person. My oh so wise sister always tells me, “you need to stop being afraid of becoming what you hate.”

She is so right.

Somewhere along my life, I picked up on the lie— my emotions only lead to bad things. Thus, being a moody person became a negative thing. Maybe this has happened to you too. Maybe you started to bottle things up.

This is why I think I carry the perception that feelings are messy. It’s not that they themselves are a mess, it’s that I make them a mess by not working through them at the right time. I store them up in this dark closet I keep in my head, and then one day the closet - too full to hold anymore - bursts open and releases all the stress and frustration and hurt.

One big mess.

But this mess was not created by emotions. It was created by the fact that I had stored them all in the closet at once.

Wouldn’t life look so different if I were too, instead, get rid of the dark closet, and acknowledge each emotion as I feel it? To gently care for each feeling as they come instead of avoiding?

Wouldn’t life be less messy?

I know it’s strange because we as humans can feel so. Many. Things. It’s overwhelming sometimes. Especially when you have trained your brain to ignore and avoid specific feelings. When you don’t know how to deal with things like pain and hurt and fear. Or joy and love.

What do you do when you want to feel something but you don’t know how?

You know who I turn to when I feel that I need to be understood or I need to understand? King David.

What a guy am I right? Probably one of the most self-aware people in all the Bible. I love his words because they are honest and raw, and aware of the fact that he may not always understand himself or God. His words seek a peace of mind and heart and soul.

I think this is what we need when we don’t know how to feel. We need peace. We need our minds to stop shouting at us so that we can begin to work through ourselves.

David was known as the “man after God’s own heart,” which I find so fascinating. Perhaps it is because David did not lie to God about who he was. He came before God with only, ever, his truest of feelings. Through his words of worship, lament, sorrow, and joy, David felt. He felt so deeply and he knew how to express himself.

He would go from sad to happy in a heartbeat. Talk about emotional am I right? And yet his heart was molded directly from that of Jesus’.

David cried out to God all of his feelings…

Cries of abandon...

I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me…(Psalm 42)

Cries of confession…

For I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned…(Psalm 51)

Songs of worship…

Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness…(Psalm 145)

Shouts of anger….

How long Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?...(Psalm 13)

Whispers of doubt…

Will the Lord reject me forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever?...(Psalm 77)

I find it so fascinating to compare the story of David to his psalms. His stories display a confident king, ready for action, yet his Psalms tell a different story. They paint a picture of someone made honest and humble and confident by his own emotions. He found his outlet that allowed him to feel and it made him more self-aware and stable.

And God was with him through all of his feelings expressed.

But I know, friends. It is easier read than done when there really are so many feelings. I know that some of your feelings are not fun at all because they contain stories of pain and hurt, and that is what you hate. But you need to stop fearing those feelings that you hate so much. I know this is difficult and scary...

So a quick word of practical advice...

Find an outlet. Here’s what I do: I put on music to get me in the right mood that will draw out my emotions. Then I write or I do some form of art that will allow myself to freely express those emotions. I need to get it out because there are just so many things to feel. I need to create the time where I can intentionally exercise the practice of feeling since expression does not come naturally to me.

Maybe you need to get outside. Maybe you need to go on a run or sit and read a book. Without outlets, we fall too easily into the patterns of a bottle-upper.

See, I can feel so joyful and happy on the outside, and yet my insides are loud, emotional, and contemplative. They adore soft words and gentle beauty. My emotions like to be tenderly cared for and fed ravishing words of both lament and jubilation.

This is how I need to care for my soul. One day at a time, acknowledging my pain and my joy. Becoming aware of my hurt and my blessings. Not letting them sit in a locked up storage closet, but instead giving them the freedom to be expressed. Not one feeling left uncared for.

Do not forget that our God is a God of diverse emotions. And even He expresses all these things. He is both calm and mighty. He expresses both joy and anger. He sent down His son who held within Him the full range of all emotions and feelings.

He constructed us with the intention that we allow our feelings to be felt. Because our God is a God who absolutely adores honesty.

God doesn’t want you to hide from yourself anymore. He wants you to know He is there for every bit of who you are. He loves your authentic, honest, emotionally messy self.

Allow yourself freedom.

If we have truly promised God to lay it all down before Him - our lives, our hearts, our souls - then we need to also bring our sincere feelings. He wants it. He wants every part of your world. He does not want to be excluded from any. Piece. Of. You.

Not one.

Hear this: You have never felt anything that is too big or too small for your gentle, loving, caring, Father. So go ahead.

Feel.

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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10 Reasons Your Big Sister Is The Best Person In Your Life

"There is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than you."
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As much as I hate to admit it, my big sister might be sort-of, slightly, cooler than I am.

Sometimes. She's the one I call when I can't call mom and the only one in the family who can properly handle my attitude. Big sisters are the people you'd choose if they weren't already family, and here's why.

1. She is your first and truest friend.

Big sisters are (literally) there from day one. They see every dirty diaper, every bad haircut, and every melodramatic breakup. They deal with every bad day and drama queen attitude and still love you in the most unconditional way.

2. Her closet is your closet.

For some reason, her clothes always look better on you. Funny how that works, huh? With a big sister comes a big closet, and who doesn't love having a double wardrobe? I'd also like to take this opportunity to apologize for the clothes I will never give back (but I'm not really that sorry).

3. She knows what it's like to deal with your parents.

Anything you could possibly be going through, they went through it first. It's kind of like having an instruction manual or a key to the future. Either way, it's always nice to have someone who will always understand the struggle.

4. There are no boundaries.

Wanna dance around in your underwear all day? Cool. Life talks while she's on the toilet? Also cool. There's no awkward moments or changing in the bathroom with the door locked. There's just the kind of freedom that only comes with siblings.

5. Thanks to her, you know about all of the cool movies/music/fashion trends from years back.

Thanks to my sister, I have every Too $hort and Ludacris song you could ever think of downloaded on my phone. I've seen every cheesy '90s movie, and when a fad from 10 years ago comes back in, I already have the hookup.

6. She tells you like it is.

We all have those friends who tend to sugarcoat everything. Yeah, sisters don't do that. She's the first person to tell me when I'm making a terrible decision and that I really shouldn't triple text that boy again. She keeps it real with me and deals with my attitude, and that's why she's the best.

7. Her home is always open.

Sometimes you just need to get away from life and binge watch Netflix, and sometimes you need all of that plus your sister. She always has her door open when you're two seconds away from losing your mind, and she also has good takeout and a dog.

8. She knows what you're capable of.

My sister knows exactly who I am and what I can do. She knows when I'm not doing my best, and when I need to be set straight. She's always there to remind me who I am and what I'm capable of accomplishing. She's always been my biggest fan.

9. She's a lot cheaper than therapy.

For some reason, my sister always knows just what to say. Even if I don't see it at the time, she's usually right (don't tell her I said that). Big sisters are like wizards, somehow they always magically make you feel like life's gonna turn out alright in the end. If she wasn't already awesome at everything else, I'd suggest she be a therapist.

10. She will always be your go-to gal.

No matter the situation, she will always be by your side. There is nothing you could say or do to make a big sister leave, and that's why they're the best. Whether it's a speeding ticket, a mean girl or you just need to laugh, big sisters are always going to be there to lift your spirits and set you straight.

I couldn't make it without ya sis, I'm sorry for ratting you out on Thanksgiving that one time, and for running away at the zoo. Thanks for taking me to see Aaron Carter even though he's way too old to still be singing "I want Candy," and thank you always for being the best role model, sister and friend I could ask for.

Cover Image Credit: teaser-trailer.com

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How Incorporating Organization In My Daily Routine Single-Handedly Changed My Life

And how it can structure yours.

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It would be a complete fabrication of the truth if I pretended that my life in any way has been picture perfect. Things are messy, life is messy, and my life becomes an endless cycle of self provoked destruction.

I've had short bursts of motivation as a last expedient to seize control of the downward spiral I have endured. But mostly they have diminished along with any motivation I have left.

None of these short term solutions have yet to salvage my mental, physical, and academic state. SO, as an attempt to overhaul my life, I decided the best way to strive for control, is to organize every aspect of my life.

Yes, this could become unhealthy if I used this tactic as a way to tear myself down or over analyze my accomplishments, or lack thereof. But I try to view my life as something I have a say in while considering that not everything will be perfect or completely satisfy my goals for myself.

To successfully enact this measure, I try to never go into a day unaware of what I must accomplish, what tasks/work I have to attend to, and stocked with a full calendar and set of alarms that prevent me from missing deadlines. Although mildly time-consuming to detail my life in advance, it is greatly beneficially outweighed through the amount of time this tactic saves me.

Recently, I have noticed how much happier I have been, and feel as if my life is back on track and it's future in my hands. This has allowed me to work an upwards of 50 something hours a week, see and manage friends, read and keep up with hobbies, as well as give me peace of mind and time to relax with loved ones.

I am grateful for the role that organization has played in my life and suggest that everyone incorporate some type of underlying structure in their lives, to realize that anything is achievable with proper organizational preparation.


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