For those of us who feel things deeply, feelings can be so scary. Sometimes it feels like they are so big that they are going to break us. It feels easier to run and avoid them.
For me personally, that was the appeal of emotion and spiritual bypassing. The lure of being able to just “feel better” or “pray away” the feelings and emotions to just “be happy.”
I’ve spent years in counseling and therapy to learn how to heal and be a healthier person. I have learned that running from feelings often makes them worse. Emotional and spiritual bypassing and other avoidant behaviors allow the roots of trauma to go deeper.
I’ve leaned that the healthiest way to deal with things like sadness and depression is often through them. With the help of a loving support group, friends, family and professional help, allowing yourself to experience the emotions is often the only way to “get past them.”
Last week, I wrote about being depressed. I wrote about dedicating time in my day to just be sad. It was scary. It was embarrassing. And all I could think was, “Is this going to break me?”
But then I thought about the resurrected Christ. Spring. What happens after the death of a star. That every seed must go into the ground (die) before it grows (John 12:24).
Brokenness so often leads to new life. I feel much better now that I’ve allowed myself to be sad. It didn’t “fix” anything, but I feel better and it feels like the depression has less power. I took the time to be sad but I also used that time to schedule calls with a few friends. Put a calendar appointment for a therapy session with my counselor.
This blog is already too long, but I wanted to take a moment to share that with you. It’s hard whenever you feel like your emotions are bigger than what you can handle. If you are not sure how to experience your emotions in a safe or healthy way, I encourage you to seek help. There are amazing counselors in this world who can teach, educate and guide you through these emotions. Surround yourself with loved ones and support.
It is okay to be sad, but it is hard. But fighting and avoiding the sadness is also hard. Both options are difficult, but one leads to a healthier life. I have started feeling better, but I still have work to do. We are going to be releasing an episode called “it’s okay to be sad“ that talks more about this, but in the meantime, I hope that you’ll join me on this path to healthier living.