A long time ago, I didn’t feel my feelings. I didn’t bother with them. If they became intense, I shunned them.
To me, all desires were sinful. And all emotions were just part of the “flesh”, not of the “spirit”. Feelings were the enemies of God. At the very least, they were bothersome things that distracted me from doing God’s will.
No wonder I was in such an internal mess!
Because when we don’t feel our feelings, we treat ourselves with disrespect!
I was acting very rudely towards myself.
My Love Tank was empty because I wasn’t loving myself enough to even listen to my feelings. Remember: Feelings are the windows of the soul. When I wasn’t feeling my feelings, I didn’t have a clue what was happening inside me.
Again, self was an enemy of God, so why bother?
Just focus on God’s Word, and viola, everything will be solved, right?
How wrong I was.
Because God was speaking to me through my most negative emotions, and I wasn’t listening…
Identify Your Feeling;
And Identify The Source Of Your Feelings
Sometimes, I can’t even identify what I was feeling.
I just knew it was a bad feeling—that’s why I was running away from it.
I didn’t know if it was sadness or fear or worry or anger.
But when I run away from my bad feelings, I run away from myself.
Today, I know what to do.
I sit down, be quiet for a while, and identify what I feel. I don’t just go rushing about in my busy day.
When I identify it, then I feel the feeling. I feel it before God’s Presence.
I also try to identify the source of these feelings.
Why am I feeling this way?
Is there any action that I need to do?
Sometimes, this first step of “feeling my feelings” is all that’s needed. I don’t have to do anything else.
By feeling what I feel, I respect myself.
By feeling what I feel, I heal myself.
It may take time for the painful feelings to pass, but ultimately, I rise from it whole and peaceful.
Sometimes, I have to do something else. Perhaps I need to surrender to God. Perhaps I need to do something concrete, like talk to someone or solve a problem.
In the End,
You Still Do What God Wants You To Do
No, I’m not supposed to follow my feelings blindly.
That’s from the crazy guys that preach, “Do what you feel. If you feel like punching someone, then punch a pillow or wall. If you feel like screaming, then go inside your room and scream like hell. If you want to get drunk, then drink…” I don’t buy that strategy.
I didn’t say, “DO what you feel.” I said, “FEEL what you feel.”
When you feel your feelings before the Presence of God’s love, in the end, you still do what God wants you to do. But you allowed yourself to feel your painful feelings, to validate them, and to listen to its inner messages.
This is a very important step of loving yourself.
Remember what I said about the immediate cause of our addictions? Because we want to escape our painful emotions.
But by entering into our painful feelings with boldness, we realize that they’re not as terrifying as we feared them to be. After awhile, we no longer need our addictions. Because we no longer need escape routes from our painful emotions.
Next, I’ll share with you the fourth step of how to love yourself…
May your dreams come true,