I know you hate emotions. You’ve tried to throw them overboard like sandbags on a hot air balloon. Living with them is sickening. But once you’ve dumped them, living without them is horrifying. I’ve got news for you, (WARNING: I’m about to sound like your mother) emotions aren’t bad. They’re not deadweights anchoring you to average. It’s what you do with your emotions that can be bad.
Emotions are not deadweights anchoring you to average.
God created us to have emotions. Too often we assign emotions to just the painful and ugly, like fear and hatred. But without emotions there would be no joy or laughter. Ironically, emotion is like the sense of touch. If the nerves in your fingers didn’t work you would never feel pain and you would never feel a fuzzy blanket. You would be numb.
But numbness goes beyond the void of pain and pleasure. If you can’t feel, your brain won’t register the heat of the brownie pan you’re pulling from the oven without hot mitts – a blistering mistake. In other words, numbness robs you of the ability to register reality. Without the ability to register reality you are unable to respond. Numbness disarms our security system and allows the robbers easy access to the things we value.
Just like our ability to feel heat is vital to avoid burns and burglars, so are our emotions. In her book Unglued, Lysa Terkeurst said, “Emotions should be indicators.” All too often we allow our emotions to be initiators rather than indicators. Emotions are merely the feelings of thoughts. They are not commands or action plans. More often than not they are not even reality, but merely our first experiential realization of our thoughts.
Emotions are not wrong.
It’s what you choose to do with the emotions
that can be wrong.
Just like reaching into the oven without hot mitts and sensing heat isn’t wrong, feeling fear or stress isn’t wrong either. It’s ignoring the heat or allowing the fear to take command that is wrong. After all, numbness only offers a mirage of favors. Whatever refreshment numbness offers is a lie. In order to see through the mirage you must do some soul-searching, but more on that in my next letter.
For now remember this: more often than not we hate emotions because we assign them to the painful and ugly; we relate them to the moments we ignored the heat on our bare-hands. Emotions are merely the experiences of our thoughts. It’s okay to go up in a hot air balloon. Even when it’s scary, it’s still okay, because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Don’t let the feeling of your thoughts anchor you to the ground.
PC: Kicking Designs
P.S. What emotions do you often feel?