We actually make it harder for ourselves when we are in denial of our personal state as a whole. The same goes for our emotional and mental state. It is okay, not to be okay!
In this blog I’ll be sharing what we need to understand, what we need to do, why not being okay can be okay.
This pandemic has put as all in a corner and brought about restrictions that we never had, freedom has been redefined, our physical activities and daily lives disrupted, forcing us to adapt to a new normal. All these are a recipe for a roller coaster of emotional and mental stress. And I am not excepted from these either.
Here’s what we need to understand about emotions.
- Emotions are valid, but we also need to learn from it.
- Our emotions are important to God, God created emotions to convey something that we need to inquire of him and for us to anchor inGod.
- Awareness of our current emotions enables us to respond with the right behavior.
- Emotions should not define our behaviors but God’s Word can transform us through the renewing of our minds that results in right actions.
- Emotions provides a rich source of information of the state of our heart.
- Emotions is a gauge for processing and reflection and not a button for reaction.
First things first, Yes prayers and devotion should be part of every believer. The emphasis on this blog is the role of available tools and community in the journey that God has designed for us.
What we can do?
1. Recognize and validate emotions.
You have to recognize that your emotions are valid, it is telling you that there is something wrong and you have to act, left unrecognized and unvalidated, it is like a small stone inside your shoes rolling around that will, in time, trigger uncomfortable pain.
Left unrecognized, emotions can become an invisible layer of wall building on the layers of unsettled issues that will eventually blow up or create a relational divide towards key relationships.
We have to honest in asking ourselves the following questions:
- How do I truly feel? am I frustrated? anger?calm? annoyed?elated? rage? jealous?
- Where is it coming from? What is the source that triggered it? Example: a friend who normally greets me happily when passing by, did not do that today, that made me feel- unwanted/ rejected/ distant? Or made you think that you did something wrong?
- Is there a potential lie I am embracing or believing because of what I feel? Example I feel insignificant, I am a failure, I am worthless, life is hopeless, I will never amount to anything.
- What is the truth I need to embrace?Example I failed in a one time quiz, However that does not define me as failure in life. Here’s another one, “I will never be loved” the scripture say I am fully loved by God even before I was born.
- For believers of Jesus Christ, what is your scriptural truth and worth? What does God think about me through my identity in Christ.
Tip: Research and understand the different emotions. It is helpful to find the right language with you feel and being able to distinguish it is important this enables us to respond with the right behavior. Google is rich source of listed of emotions.
2. Discover what works with you in understanding how you are taking up the emotions over the present situation.
One of habit I’ve develop over the years is keeping a journal. The process of writing has taught me that there is more to what really feel.
Another is running or walking, because I am an aesthetic learner. I am better able to process my overwhelming emotions and thoughts, doing these is also relaxing and has been helpful to focus on what truly is going on.
Self talk when walking, running or in solitude moments has been very helpful to process and understand why I am responding in a specific way.
Lastly having meaningful and honest conversation with a community of friends and spiritual community. These are vulnerable and unfiltered moments of conversations with people who provide safe place to fully express without being judge.
3. Actively participate in group discussions.
Being part of a community wherein you can freely express yourself without judgement and prejudice. These groups can be your friends, church community, Bible study groups, mentors and coaches.
Connect with other people, know what they are going through, aside from being listened to, be a listener to what really going with others.
We need a community that speaks truth and grace in our life, encourages us, speaks faith and points us back to our relationship with God and the Lordship of Jesus in our lives.
To answer why not being okay can be okay.
Not being okay can be okay because it can be a starting point of knowing ourselves better and this can be an opportunity of growth towards Christlikeness.
Not being okay can be okay because it can be a springboard of meaningful conversations with key relationships and staying connected to God.
Not being okay, can be okay when it is growing your character more, molding us to be more patient, gracious, understanding, content, forgiving, developing self- control, faithfulness, kindness, endurance. That is when it is definitely not being okay can be okay.
I am not perfect in following these principles either, I am still a work in progress but strive to build continuously in these areas. I am grateful for the gift of relationship with God and other people, that has encouraged me when emotional roller coasters arise. I would love to hear what you think about what you have read, or if there are things you think I could add or improved on this blog.