Friends, I have been in such an emotionally raw state. It can be exhausting. Sometimes I think “I’m sick of feeling” or “Surely I’m done crying...there shouldn’t be any tears left!” It’s humbling to be in a season where you see your weaknesses and you are challenged to grow. I’m learning that I need to be patient: Patient with myself and patient with the season I’m in. In the past ten months, I’ve been through so many transitions. In May, my husband and I got married, sold a house two weeks later, packed up everything we own and moved across the country. When I acknowledge everything I’ve been through it makes sense that I have been in an emotionally raw state. I’ve had to mourn the loss and change in my community, friendships and home. Those are a lot of changes to consider. This is where I’m trying to practice patience. Patience with myself that it’s ok to have a hard time and try to work through these feelings. I also need to be patient with my new city that it will take time to grow a community here and make friendships. Also, as a photographer, it has been difficult to be patient as I grow my business in this area. In this season of ups and downs, I’m trying to be in tune with my feelings and build my emotional awareness. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a 100% feeler/emotional type. In the past, I viewed my tears as a weakness, but now I view them as something beautiful and the way I was created to be.
God has been teaching me that he created me as an emotional being. It is a gift he has given me and it enables me to be sensitive to others. This sensitivity drives me to hurt when others hurt and celebrate in times of joy with others. Once I learned to embrace my gift I became much more gracious with my tears and viewed them as strength. It takes a lot of strength to be raw and vulnerable. To sit in difficulty and work through unpleasant feelings in the moment. It seems easier to just brush them aside or bury them. I was not created to be this way, believe me, I’ve tried and I can never seem to push aside what I feel. I find that it is unhealthy to deny what we feel. The process of healing can begin when we acknowledge what we feel, bring it out in the open to process mentally and spiritually. Believe me, this is still a work in progress for me, but here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way.
I’ve learned the importance of first identifying “what do I feel?” There is so much power in being able to name what it is that we feel. It is also freeing and makes it feel less overwhelming when we can put a name to the emotion. It may take 10 seconds or it may take a year, but putting in the work to identify what it is that you feel is worth it. So first start by naming the feeling and then I try to identify where I physically feel it in my body. Next, I place my hand where it is that I sense the feeling in my body. When I’m anxious I have to touch my stomach or place my hand where there is a tightness in my chest. If I’m mad I place my hand on my beating heart and that even helps my brain to be thoughtful of my breath and to consciously slow my breath. I believe this practice is beneficial for all ages. In the school I worked at I tried to teach the kids I worked with to observe their heartbeat and to dialogue with them about how to slow it down. It’s empowering to be aware of your feelings and how they manifest in our bodies. Building our awareness enables us to then have strategies when we read the signals in our body. I’ve had beautiful moments in prayer where I tell God what I’m feeling, where I’m feeling it and asking for His guidance to process it and find peace. I’ve learned that when I take time for those two practices and I welcome God into the process I have experienced so much peace and healing.
Friends, it’s ok to be vulnerable. It’s ok to be honest with yourself. It’s ok to mourn. It’s ok to sit in a feeling. IT’S OK TO FEEL. It’s when we acknowledge these things we can begin the process towards healing!