I am feeling my feelings. This may seem like an obvious choice, what else would I do with my feelings? Well, as it turns out I was doing a lot of things with my feelings.
- Eating them
- Avoiding them
- Yelling about things that were not the feelings I was not feeling
- Making decisions so that I could avoid them
- Talking about things that were not my feelings
- Crying about minor inconveniences
- Watching a lot of episodes of Gilmore Girls in a row
Not all the time. I am, generally speaking, a fully functioning adult. This list is a little embarrassing just laid out like that. (Look at me! Feeling the feelings.) But I noticed that a lot of my energy was going to going around, over, under, when the best option was through. This doesn’t mean I think all my feelings are totally valid or even great. It just means I am letting myself feel them, and then I decide what should be done about them.
It has mostly been working out for me, this business of feeling my feelings. I have a lot more energy to actually do the things I want to do, and I have quit a couple of things because they always make me feel like crap (I’m looking at you, stat checking and Facebook stalking.) I went back to Target with both my girls to snag the last weighted hula-hoop because leaving it behind made me feel like I had really missed out on something good, and I have been using it every day because it makes me feel a little silly, but really free.
But I have been experiencing a snag. A thing I was not expecting but is certainly definitely happening. I am getting better about it, but the easiest way for me to feel my feelings is to talk through my feelings (extrovert problems). And when I talk about my feelings people want to fix them. All this month people have been telling me how to fix it.
- You thing you need to remember is
- The way you should think about that is
- You should definitely
- You should not have
- You can’t keep
And on and on. I know they are trying to help. I know they are doing it because they love me. I know I am probably making people a little uncomfortable with my big feelings in response to small talk. (Hey man, you are the one that asked me how I am.) I am learning that feeling my feelings, acknowledging them to myself does not mean I must acknowledge them to other people.
I don’t need anyone to fix my feelings, and most surprisingly (even to myself) I don’t even want them to.
This is shocking to me because I have spent the last few months wanting someone to fix it, wanting to not feel it anymore. I have been praying that God would FIX IT ALREADY. And all through advent and Christmas, God has been reminding me that He is with me. That He sees me. That I am not forgotten. But He hasn’t really fixed anything.
I have quickly learned to treasure the people in my life who hear my feelings and tell me that they are witnessing my pain. I am wondering if the fixers aren’t giving me what I have once communicated I wanted. I am thinking about how to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I am becoming aware at how often I have wanted to fix someone else’s feelings. Sometimes because it made them feel bad, but often because those feelings made me feel bad. I am learning that they don’t need me to fix it. I am learning that I don’t want anyone to fix it.
I am learning to feel my feelings, and I am learning what an extraordinary gift it is, to have a God who is with me while I do that.