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?