I was 15. We finished performing our play. Back on the bus, we could pull out our phones. I smiled when I saw the notification. My heart sank as I swiped to read the message. Hot tears could not stop streaming down my face. Excitement for Chick Fil A continued to buzz around me.
But my life was over. He would no longer be pursuing me. The boy I liked and was texting. No more good morning texts or long conversations. No more feelings. Except anger. And a lot of it.
Many times I’ve allowed my emotions to consume and even control me. I know what it means to not be able to think of anything else when you’re consumed with emotion.
Step One: Catch Yourself
The first thing you need to do is identify your emotions. This sounds obvious, but acknowledging your feelings is the first baby step to freedom from consumption.
Are you angry? Just hungry? Tired?
Go beneath the surface to find what’s really going on.
Back to 15-year-old me, I was consumed with anger. I was mad at myself for opening up my heart. My anger consumed my every thought. It took admitting my hurt for any real healing to begin.
After naming my true emotion trigger, I knew better how to approach my emotion. Anger is a secondary emotion, and I was hurt because of being rejected.
The simple practice of saying “I feel __ because I am scared of/angry at/sad etc. helped me begin to process. I did this via journal.
Thoughtfully processing our emotions is different than being consumed by our emotions. So allow yourself time to soak in a feeling. It is important that we don’t ignore our emotions, so we can change the level of control they have over you.
We can be in control of our emotions. They were made to be a part of us, not to run us. Emotions are great clues to find the truth, but they aren’t the whole truth.
If I had not been able to give up control of my emotions, I would not be currently married to that boy who rejected me. (That’s right! I married him 4 years later.)
Disclaimer: I don’t mean to cheapen human emotions to a 3-part formula. I find it easier to get started on the track to emotional freedom by opening up with the basics. I firmly believe this journey gets messy, because it is still messy for me today. I just wish I had a way of knowing how to handle it a little better when I was 15.
God bless // love brits
Tangible To do & Takeaway:
David honestly processed his emotions in writing the Psalms. We see that He continued to bring consuming emotions to God.
Read: Psalm 42 & 43. What line is repeated?
Journal: I feel __ because __