Imagine having a bad breakup with someone. You feel cheated and ultimately, angry with the person and the circumstances. How do you deal? Do you confront the person that caused your heartbreak? Or would you express your angst to social media and share to any and every person who will listen to your woes in the guise of making yourself feel better? Or worse, would you lower yourself and seek vengeance hiding from the excuse of telling yourself that adage, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth?”
We all have to deal with difficult emotions. How do we manage them the way God intend them to be without affecting our relationships and letting them poison our life? How do we escape the trap of inflicting pain to others the way we were hurt in the first place?
Manage Your Difficult Emotions – Feel Your Feelings
Believe me, there are a number of people that don’t do this properly. Immature, childish people do not know the difference. The difference between experiencing the emotion and expressing the emotion. Relationships are destroyed because of those crude and foolish choices we make in expressing our feelings. End result? Instead of helping the situation, we made matters worse. Turning back and fixing the relationship will be a hard sell now.
There are no bad emotions, only bad expressions of those emotions. Anger is not bad but some expressions of anger are bad. So, if you’re sad, feel your sadness. If you’re fearful, feel your fear. But here is a strong recommendation: Feel your negative emotions in the presence of God. Tell God you’re angry. Or worried. Or afraid. Or depressed. Or sad.
Why? There are two reasons for this. First, emotions are teachers. They are the window to your soul. They help you perceive what’s really happening inside you. Next, emotions are healers. When we suffer loss, we need that grieving process to heal us. By feeling our grief, we acknowledge our pain. When we acknowledge our pain, we acknowledge ourselves. When we acknowledge ourselves, we love ourselves. And love always heals.
Don’t Go Beyond The Expiry Date – Own Your Feelings
Let us not forget, all adverse and negative emotions have an expiry date. After a specified period of time, if we continue to dwell on that pessimistic feeling, it becomes poison.
Grief that is supposed to heal you, after its expiry date, kills you. Anger that is supposed to cure you, after its expiry date, tortures you. Fear that’s supposed to protect you, after its expiry date, poisons you.
So what does one need to do?
You can’t blame anyone for your anger, or your own fear, or your own sadness. No one has the power to make you feel these emotions unless you allow them. Own your feelings.
When you own your anger, or fear, or sadness, or any negative emotions you had – you are declaring that you are taking control – therefore, taking responsibility for the consequences of your life. You stop having that “victim” personality. You don’t say “poor me” but you declare “I am going to deal.” Stop accepting defeat in the outset of your emotional warfare.
If you don’t own your emotions, ultimately the opposite will happen, the emotions will own you. This is a scary place to be. You are the one who limits yourself. You’ll be the puppet of your emotions. Dismally, this is the reason why a lot of people are unsuccessful in life. They’re a puppet to their anger, their sadness, their fear, their guilt, their greed, their lust, their pride.
Remove The Poison – Control Your Feelings
There is widespread of lies being fed into our soul. We chose to be defeated by the emotional burden we carry. We even dare to question God, “Why, Lord?” We feel so tired. We feel so numb.
We’ve certainly been fooled. We believe the lie that we can’t control our emotions. That is one of the reasons why there are people in the prison now. They’re there because they can’t control their feelings.
We are definitely emotional beings. We are created by God that way. Encountering difficult emotions will always be a fact of life. As we traverse through life, we cannot stop the difficult circumstances from happening. The million-dollar question is, “What do we do when that happens?”
There are those people who let their emotions run their life. Unless they acknowledge them and fight their way back, to be the master instead of the slave, it will continue to be the stumbling block from their way to triumph. If you want to be happy and successful, don’t follow your feelings. Let your feelings follow you.
Think of all the pitfalls you could have avoided if you didn’t follow your feelings. That nasty, vile post online you send at the heat of the moment wouldn’t have lost a ten-year friendship. If you didn’t have an affair at that single moment of lust, you wouldn’t have destroyed the trust of your wife and kids. If you didn’t eat uncontrollably every day, you wouldn’t have diabetes and heart disease today.
Many people are in prison now, may it be the actual or an emotional one. At one time or another, they have followed their feelings. Some even continue to be trapped not knowing that the key to freedom has always been in their hands.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7
Handle Your Toxic Feeling
How do you deal with that exasperated feeling from people too difficult to handle? The nagging frustration over rising bills, tuition fees, even dissatisfaction with your job? The escalating despair of finding yourself still single while the number in your years keep piling up?
- Change your mindset. What are your criteria for happiness? Will you be happy only when you have one million dollars in your pocket? You will only be ecstatic when you have the man of your dreams? You will feel complete when you will get you dream job or build your dream home? Here is a very good rule for happiness: I will be happy if God loves me. You bet you will be happy every day! Nothing we did nor what we will do can ever separate us from the love of our Father.
- Shift your focus. You will never manage your feelings directly. You can’t keep yourself from feeling sadness by uttering useless times that “You are not sad!” Don’t manage your feelings, manage your focus. Focus creates your reality. Paul wrote to the people of Philippi to think about the anything that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Focus on the good. You will be surprised, your feelings will follow.
You manufacture your own happiness or unhappiness from the inside, no matter what is happening on the outside. Free yourself from the burden. Deal with it. Heal.
“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.”