Do You Ever Feel Uncomfortable With Emotions?
Today on our blog, Sarah Callen is talking about getting uncomfortable with emotions. She shares her story and some encouragement for others.
“You view things clinically so you don’t have to feel.”
I tried to summon a rebuttal or a reaction, but instead, I just sat with my mouth agape and my eyes as wide as saucers.
This was a conversation I recently had with my counselor. I was talking with him about my battle against shame, something that I’ve been processing through and diving into for over a year. I’ve talked about it so much that I have my spiel polished, I know the course of events, and I can appropriately explain the process I went through that led me here. But he didn’t care about my well-rehearsed explanation. His reaction and insight revealed some profound truths about me that I hadn’t previously seen about myself.She sat with her mouth agape and her eyes as wide as saucers – this wasn't how she pictured the conversation going… Click To Tweet
Quick To Fight, Slow To Heal
When the Lord, months ago, revealed to me that I struggle with shame, I immediately dug into learning more about this incendiary enemy. I wanted to know what I was facing so I could devise an appropriate battle plan. I acquired more knowledge so I could conquer it and, because that’s in keeping with the “more than a conqueror” mentality, I was confident that was the right thing for me to do.
And the Lord has done a lot to heal my heart amidst my acquisition of knowledge. I’m piling less shame on myself than I used to and am more prepared to shake off shame when it tries to pile on me once again. I’m feeling more emotions than I have before and finding my identity more in Him than ever before.
I whole-heartedly believe that we need to understand our triggers, our tendencies, and how the enemy attacks us, but I think there’s an interim step that needs to take place between revelation and the gathering of knowledge: rest.
Uncomfortable with Emotions
As a doer who loves to work and desires to be “in control,” the idea of resting in a hard truth, stark revelation, or any emotion, is a difficult one for me to grasp. When I learn something, I want to apply it immediately so I can get better as soon as possible. I don’t want to sit with it. I don’t want to have to feel shame deeply. I don’t want to mourn what has been taken from me because I believe its lies. And I surely don’t want to emote as a result of it. But, as my wise counselor said, these are necessary parts of the healing process.
The truth is that it’s uncomfortable to sit in our pain, shame, fear, or failure. It’s much more pleasant to move quickly to victory, but there’s a precious growth opportunity available to us when we actually sit and allow ourselves to feel those unpleasant things. While I don’t believe we should stay in that space (we are victorious in Christ), I don’t think we should blast past it either.
It’s a Process…
I don’t have a nice little bow to tie on this particular post because I’m currently trying to figure this out myself. But I do know this: if you’re a worker or ignorer of discomfort like me, I encourage you to invite the Lord into that space with you. Invite Him to join you in that bit of pain, shame, fear, blame, anger, or any other unpleasantness. Ask Him to bring His love and healing to that space. Let yourself feel for as long as you need. Then take a few moments to rejoice in the fact that He is willing to enter that place of hurt because He longs for your healing.
If you tend to sit in your pain and commiserate, there’s no judgment here, I humbly give you the same encouragement: invite the Lord in. I’ve found that an encounter with Him is an invitation to change. Welcome God in and ask Him to heal those places you’ve dwelt on and restore those places of pain.
I believe we will have a richer view of the goodness of God when we choose to feel, process, and release, knowing that He is with us and for us in every circumstance.When we choose to feel, process, and release, knowing that God is with us and for us in every circumstance, we have a richer view of the goodness of God. Click To Tweet
I can so relate to this, Sarah! I am a highly emotional person, so I often try to fix problems without going through the roller coaster ride of emotions because it can be so exhausting. And I’m especially uncomfortable with emotions in public. That’s the worst. But I’m constantly reminding myself that emotions are a gift from God. He created them. He created us in His image. And I should embrace them. It’s not always easy, but I’m trying.
Wow, Sarah – you hit the nail on the head for me. And something I gathered here was that wallowing in self-pity isn’t the same as processing emotions. It’s actually a way to avoid confronting them, sort of a numbing mechanism for me. I also tend to be a doer and want to rush past the emotional part but I loved how you point out that sitting with the emotion is part of the waiting/healing process God is using. Thanks for this eye-opening post!
Thank you for sharing with honesty about your pain the healing process. I could fully relate to your feelings and your efforts to move forward. It all makes perfect sense! Remembering to wait in that middle place, so that the Lord can teach, heal, repair and reset things more deeply – that is much harder. May God bless you each step of the way.
Powerful message, Sarah. Your insight here is amazing, “…I think there’s an interim step that needs to take place between revelation and the gathering of knowledge: rest.” So good. And I agree that we we feel, process, release, we have a much better view of the goodness of God.
This is such a tough subject! I was just talking with my husband this morning about how I don’t like to reveal my emotions in fear of the judgement of “just being an emotional person.” Your words show the flaw in that thought process! Thank you!
Great blog on this difficult subject. I know after our son died (long time ago) I struggled with sharing my true feelings for fear of how it would make others feel. Thanks for sharing
We push back against the idea of process, wanting so much to be on the other side of our pain.
But healing comes only through process. Thanks for sharing your own process and pain. God bless!
So good! Thanks for sharing!