So, I’ve discussed WHY we have emotions.
The next question is what do we DO with them?
If we accept that emotions are good – that they’re a gift from God, and a reflection of his own glory – and that emotions are important – not simply to be ignored or rationalized away – then what?
As much as I am not a big fan of formulas, there is a simple formula for what to do with emotions that has helped me tremendously over the years. It is this:
Identify > Feel > Express
That’s right. It is with huge embarrassment that I offer you a simple three step process for what to do with your emotions! Your emotions need to be (1) Identified; (2) Felt; and (3) Expressed. You need to first recognize and name what it is that you are feeling. Second, you must take the time to “sit in” that feeling: Let it resonate through you without distracting yourself from it. Then you need to express it. It has to be released or shared.
Ok, normally I hate “simple three-step processes”. I hate when people act like the most important things in life can be boiled down to a mechanical process, like we’re automobiles on an assembly line.
Let me be clear: we are NOT cars on an assembly line, and our emotions can’t be treated like cogs in a machine.
Nevertheless, this process has been very helpful to me. It’s helped me to slow down and allot the time and energy my emotions need to do the work inside of me (and in this world!) that God designed them for.
In the next few posts I’ll elaborate on each of these three steps.
(p.s. also highly recommend the official video for this song (which is not embeddable). Awesome outward representation of the chaos and beauty that emotions are capable of creating in our lives.)