As I’ve gone through the past few days, my emotions have run their course…or so I thought. Each day is a whole new experience. Some of the emotions are necessary to healing; others become poison which could eventually kill me. Kind of like those people who are slowly poisoned by food or their environment. Or kind of like chemotherapy…the cure can kill you. So how do we heal without being poisoned?
1) Some people use avoidance. Don’t allow the healing emotions, and you don’t have to deal with the destructive ones. Actually, I know a lot of those people. They really aren’t healthy or happy.
2) Feel every emotion that comes along. That’s how we sink into depression, or other destructive emotions.
3) That leaves us with dealing with it. But how?
a. Good friends go a long way. They go with you on the journey and they suffer through your pity party and they give you advice you often don’t want to hear. Make sure you have good friends in your life for times of trouble. (Of course make sure to reciprocate when it’s their turn!)
b. Learn what are healthy emotions and unhealthy ones. Figure out how long is “normal” for you (though I do like the saying…”normal is just a setting on your washing machine.”) Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time (or season) for everything. Learn what that is. Then figure out how to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and move on.
c. Don’t try to go it alone. Seek God and listen when He speaks! You might say that I should have listed God above friends…well, you might have stopped reading at point one. The truth is that though God made us for His pleasure, He also made us to live in community. Too often we don’t have those people around us to hold us accountable, to help us, to intercede on our behalf. And though God tells us His grace is sufficient and that in our weakness He is strong…we often fail in feeling His strength and love, and need the gentle touch of a loving friend, a kind word of encouragement.
So go ahead and learn what the healthy and poisonous emotions in you are. Figure out what formula works best for you in being healthy. And remember that part of being created in God’s image is having emotions (He’s a very emotional God.) Embrace that part of yourself. And then try to be like Him with those emotions.