Why Do I Feel This Way? (Decoding Our Distress, Pt 1)
Whether you are feeler by nature or not, we all have emotions and have been created with the capacity to feel. We all have different experiences when it comes to emotions. How we were raised, and what has been modeled have a large impact on our current relationship with emotions. Although there are a select few emotions that are easy to acknowledge - emotional distress, which is often uncomfortable, is harder to identify, withstand, manage, and understand.
Over the next few weeks, we are going to walk through a mini-series on emotional distress. There is a need for healthy formation in this area of our lives and I believe the bible provides guidance and grace for us to develop the awareness and practices for acknowledging and understanding our emotions- as given by God, to draw us closer to him and others.
What I often see within both therapy and in Christian circles is that many tend to dismiss or even deny the presence or intensity of their emotional experiences. We make excuses for our actions and seek to distract or distance ourselves from whatever distresses us. In addition to this denial, we can assume that such feelings are unholy or display a lack of spiritual maturity.
Our bodies and minds often pay the toll for our attempts to distract ourselves from our emotional distress or the feelings we most often want to deny. We self-medicate and load up our schedules and social calendars to distract ourselves from the reality that something is not right. The consequence of these methods of coping is damaging to both our bodies and our souls.
One of the largest contributors to our emotional crisis currently, is that we have not learned to validate our feelings. This is a systemic issue, passed down through our family culture; we each learn how to deal with or not deal with emotions.
Yet, within the family of God, we are brought into a new perspective when it comes to understanding our emotions and the experiences we face within our broken world.
The purpose of our emotions:
1. Signals of significance
2. Soul aspect of our divine nature
3. Support social and spiritual connection
*Disclaimer* I am excited to walk through this series together and I want to be sure to acknowledge that this educational discussion is not a substitute for therapy. I encourage you to find a counselor and spiritual mentor to walk with you in examining and exploring emotions of distress in addition to supportive resources.
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