Feelings are fickle. They’re real, but they’re unreliable. Emotions can be affected by everything happening both inside you and around you. You may see your emotions as overwhelming, and think you are at their mercy. I’d like to help you befriend your feelings instead of feeling like you are their victim.
Without emotions life would be colorless and purely clinical. God built us with the capacity to experience sadness, anger, pain, grief, fatigue, peace, joy, hope, and love. Many of those encompass more than just feelings, but you can’t experience any of them without feelings. Jesus expressed and experienced them all.
This past year I’ve experienced plenty of times when emotions felt overwhelming while I’ve walked my journey of grief. I’m also grateful that I had learned previously, and am learning again, what to do with feelings when they come.
You know that letting your emotions control you is neither healthy nor godly, but neither is stuffing and denying them. So here are some key steps to help you befriend your feelings, and make your emotions work for you rather than against you.
Befriend Your Feelings
1. Both “positive” and “negative” emotions are legitimate and can be healthy.
Shutting down negative feelings means cutting yourself off from the positive feelings also; you can’t be open to experiencing one without the other. The pleasure center and pain center in your brain are not completely separate. The opposite of love is not anger, but apathy. Deep pain can be very close to deep love and profound meaning.