Woman looking down in an alley

What’s a Feeling?

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A few years ago, I wrote a children’s curriculum for my church. One of my favorite parts of the curriculum was that we taught the kids about their emotions. When they came into the room, we had them put a sticker on the emoji that best described how they were feeling that day. We had everything from mad to sad to happy to sleepy to silly and a whole bunch in between. They completed a paper for every lesson where they identified with an emoji how their week was going. And every session featured a chunk of lessons that were all about emotions.

When we were first planning this curriculum, these lessons about emotions were some of the most important to me. The program director I was working with asked me what I wished I had learned as a kid and “emotions” was my primary answer. Writing these lessons was fun and so rewarding for me, but applying them to my life is much more difficult.

I tend to struggle with feelings, especially my own. I’m reluctant to admit that I do have emotions and, when I do finally realize that I’m feeling something, I have a hard time identifying what it is. I have a lot of strengths, but emotional awareness sure isn’t one of them.

A few weeks ago, I felt like I was teetering on the verge of tears, which was an awkward position for me to be in. I’m rarely in that place and have almost no idea what to do when I reach that point. I wanted so badly for the feeling to go away, but I didn’t want to cry. There was no apparent cause so I couldn’t try and “fix” the problem, so I was at a complete loss.

Feeling at the end of my rope, I went on my lunch break and just sat in a coffee shop for a while. I needed to be in a place where no one knew me where I could be alone without being alone (talk about crazy girl brain). I sat and people watched and just took some time to breathe. I took a few minutes to collect myself. I allowed myself to feel what I was feeling instead of trying to make the feeling go away.

I still don’t know what caused my weepy feeling, but it was a sweet reminder to me that God feels deeply and he created us to feel deeply as well. I don’t need to try and squash my feelings, but I can choose to experience them as fully as I can. I was reminded of the simple truth that emotions are a beautiful part of being a human being and something that should be celebrated.

I don’t know a whole lot about feelings, but I’m learning to sit with them, learn from them, and experience God through them.

Are you in touch with your emotions?

Do you see your emotions as a reflection of God?

To go Deeper: Your Official Invitation to Feel, True Meaning of Strength

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6 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Work in Progress and commented:

    A few days ago, a friend asked me “how are you feeling?” and I didn’t know how to answer. Then he sat patiently with me as I thought about it and fumbled for the words to articulate my emotions.

    The truth is that I’m still often unaware of how I’m feeling. While I would imagine that many just feel a thing and know what it is that they’re feeling, it still takes a while for my brain to catch up with the rest of me. I need to stop and sit long enough for the emotion to register, something I don’t do nearly as often as I should.

    Thankfully, the Lord is patient with my struggle with emotions. He’s not angry at me because I tend to be out of touch with how I feel. And he is bringing people into my life who will sit with me and help me figure it out when I need.

    The truth is that emotions can be difficult, but they’re part of the beauty of being created in the image of God. Let’s choose to embrace our emotions today instead of hiding from them and see how we grow and our relationships deepen in the process.

    Like

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