“It never works out.”
These are words from a sweet soul that I love–words that ring with frustration and discouragement. Emotions run rampant when times are tough. One bad moment can give birth to another and another, and our emotions go into overdrive.
All of a sudden hope fades and defeat marches in with a vengeance.
Don’t we all know this hard place?
We respond to our world through the amazing gift of our emotions.
In the moment, truth can be no further away than the nearest feeling barging into our thoughts.
Feelings are powerful.
But they are not truth.
Feelings sometimes shout and sometimes whisper, but they can bully and badger, making us think they carry truth. It all feels so real.
Feelings are responses.
Feelings are responders and messengers. They hold no power to dictate truth unless we allow them to speak false belief to our souls.
We are so tempted to respond to our merry-go-round of feelings as truth. If I feel it, it must be true.
Feelings feel true.
My kids would fall on the floor laughing at this Mom-ism that sounds so stupid…but is so true.
But feelings feel true.
And we fall for it, way too often.
I am in a season of soul work. One issue that keeps popping up is my tendency to respond to my feelings as though they are truth. Feelings bring out all kinds of conclusions, many of them false beliefs.
One feeling believed can open the door to a nasty downward spiral to defeat. It can be one short step from feeling discouraged to believing: “I can’t,” “God won’t,” “I’m not,” “I’m alone, ______.” Fill in the blank with your need of the moment.
When we allow feelings to be bearers of truth, feelings become beliefs.
I feel rejected–I think I am rejected–I begin to believe I am rejected.
I feel discouraged–I am discouraged.
I feel loved–I am loved.
The convincing power of our feelings sway our thoughts and we begin to believe the messages our feelings shout loud and long.
In reality, feelings just are. I feel good, I feel mad, happy, sad, hopeful, disappointed….and on and on they go.
Here’s the thing that matters.
Feelings are not true or false. They are responders and messengers. They just are. How much time have I wasted, shaming myself for feeling this or that. As if some feelings are allowed and others are not.
We feel is what we feel. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to feel what we feel without judging it. Without lecturing it. Without discounting or stuffing it.
We have a choice in what we believe. We can accept feelings as facts or we can hold fast to truth.
What is the message of your feelings? What is hidden beneath the emotion?
Feelings simply respond to what we believe is true in this moment. I feel like a failure. Then I begin to think I am a failure. Then I begin to believe I am a failure.
What are your feelings telling you?
I wrote a chapter on dealing with feelings in the care and keeping of God in Holy in the Moment. Learn more about the book here.