Feelings are good things–even when the feelings are bad. It has taken me a lot of years to truly understand that truth in my heart. The only comic strip I have ever cut out was a Lockhorn comic on feelings: the grumpy husband said, “I am in touch my feelings. I just don’t happen to like them.” I related to him…and I know many others do as well. We risk damaging ourselves with that approach though.
We need to value emotions as a gift from God.
If you have struggled with emotions, you may find it hard to even label what you feel. Extra ‘feeling’ help is available in this blog piece that highlights The Feeling Wheel.
Why do I have to feel them instead of just manage them?
Emotions are ‘real things.’ They are movements of energy in our mind. Limiting hard emotions also limits good emotions. Control cannot be exercised on just the negative side. We limit our lives by controlling instead of feeling emotions. God is wise and kind. Emotions have peaks (or valleys); they will subside. And Jesus controls the life of the believer…one sweet quote that a friend uses is: “I will feel it, because Jesus will heal it.”
Scripture admonishes us to take control of thoughts. In fact, it says take them captive to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) What that means it that we intentionally consider what thoughts are in our mind and determine if they line up with what Christ tells us. Thoughts come from our beliefs…thoughts based on TRUTH bring health. Thoughts based on LIES deliver death–literal physical ill-health comes when our thoughts run amok.
Two other aspects of ‘Thoughts’ worthy of mention. Thoughts can also originate in the Spirit World. The Holy Spirit gives thoughts, but so does the enemy. ALWAYS ask yourself, ‘Does this sound like my loving Father?’ God is LOVE; He does not shame, criticize or belittle. He does convict through the Holy Spirit. Conviction is pure sorrow and sadness for having hurt our Lord. The devil produces shame and guilt with his prods. Learn the difference and enjoy the mind of Christ we have received!
The chemicals produced by emotions have direct physical impact on our bodies. God wired us to be at peace. When we walk outside of His will–or when we let our minds wander there–we suffer. Dr. Caroline Leaf, a brain neurosurgeon, has incredible resources on the biological impact of emotions on the brain. I highly recommend her materials. A wide array of Dr. Leaf’s resources on Thoughts and Emotions is available here.