Have you ever seen a child throw a tantrum? They just don’t hold back. They express their anger, sadness, and pain with abandon. They aren’t thinking about what they look like or what others may be thinking. They are purely in the moment, feeling and expressing whatever is on their heart.
Throughout childhood, our parents help us learn that it isn’t always appropriate to express ourselves in this way. We learn to manage our emotions so that we don’t fall apart when we are sitting in class or at a restaurant with our friends. Unfortunately, many of us never give ourselves the time and space to allow ourselves to feel the way we so naturally did when we were little.
As a result, it is common for us to avoid our feelings. Sometimes we do this by shopping, eating, or keeping ourselves busy – too busy to feel our pain. Although these strategies are momentarily effective, our pain still comes up through feelings of anxiety/depression, problems in our relationships, and a feeling of general un-fulfillment. In order to move towards healing, it is vital for us to reconnect with our hearts in that childlike way.
As we avoid our feelings, what are we protecting ourselves from? We need to dig deep and find the courage to feel those big feelings. In this process we can invite God to join us. He can be your strength and hold you in his unconditional love. If we are willing to go in to the depths of our pain we open ourselves to experiencing the depths of God’s love.
By Corinne Boulger