Our emotions don’t have to define our actions, but sometimes it feels that way. Over the past week there has been a lot of emotion in my home. Having a 10 year old girl will do that for you. Her emotional storm starts brewing, and it seems mine inevitably follows. And the thing is, emotions are gifts. All of them. The positive ones and the negative ones. The clear ones and the muddy ones. They all serve a purpose, but at times they get annoying.
I find myself wishing I was one of those stoic people who could go around making decisions based off data and not let my feelings or fears get in the way. But that’s not me. It’s not how God wired me, and apparently not how he wired my child. He made us both deep thinkers and feelers, which I love…and I hate.
I hate to see her worry about things I know won’t matter 10 years from now. It’s hard to see her hurt. And I desperately want her to know even though her emotions overwhelm her at times, if she will channel them in a positive direction – she will find they are a blessing. But she’s 10…and these things take time. I’m 34 and just now figuring out my emotions don’t have to define my actions.
And maybe you are a deep feeler too. Things that breeze past other people settle into your bones. No matter how hard you try to shake, emotions just stay and sit. They come in and have coffee. They nest themselves deep into the sinews of your bones and the muscles of your heart. Emotions come to you and find a home. And this is good. We need to feel. And we need to connect.
In fact, the most emotional turmoil often arises when we decide to push our emotions away and tell ourselves it’s not okay to feel what we feel. Because here’s the thing, a feeling is what it is. We might be able to change it eventually by working on our thoughts, changing the environment, and altering our expectations – but these things take time. And in the moment – well – a feeling just is…and sometimes we just need to feel it. Not act on it…not shame ourselves for having it…not try and push it away…but just feel it – for ALL that it is. And then, when we are ready, we can let it go. And maybe even think about moving on.