Friday, August 12, 2011

Learning how to feel again

I like to see and know and understand.  And I like to feel... with my hands and brain, but not my emotions.  Not many people would guess it.  I seem fairly normal.  But then again, who is? 
This is America, people!  We get our fix and we're good to go.  We laugh, we cry, we live, we die.  But it's all good... right?  Whatever we feel in our heart is just fine... right?  And... feeling is good, right?
When I was a youngster - a tween, some would say - I rode the emotional roller coaster, like so many other American girls my age.  All I needed was a good wash of endorphins over my sensitive brain, and I was the happiest woman alive.  But if not, I was in the depths of despair.  I fed myself lies to keep me up... or down... to produce the behavior I thought I needed to have.  To say the least, I exhausted myself.  I thought worshiping God was being successful in conjuring up adequate feelings of love-for-God and more hatred-for-self.  Yeah.  Emotions ruled me.
  Then... that happened.  About 2 to 3 years ago.  You probably don't know what "that" is.  That's OK.  You probably wouldn't want to know.  I was in pain.  Uncharted.  And not necessarily physical.  It was too much.  It never stopped.  So I came up with a solution.  I wouldn't feel it anymore.  Simple?  Maybe not.
You see, for a very long time, everything I experienced was negative.  All my emotions were negative.  All my emotions were influenced by the negative.  Because that's all I knew.  Everything was negative.
It's something that happens when the trauma is too hard for the human mind to bear.  The brain stops caring, stops feeling, and goes into "survival mode".  It is very real.  And it is completely alone.  To be in "survival mode" is to be fighting against everything.  Fighting life; fighting death.  Fighting good; fighting evil.  It doesn't work so well.  But when there is nothing else to handle it, that's what happens.  And it happened to me.  I wrote in my journal at that time, "Emotionally, I am no more.  It is gone, I have killed it."  My own words.  I had a fascination with nothingness.  I loved it, because it wasn't there, when everything that was there for me seamed, or was, negative.  By puting all feeling out of myself, I removed the "bad" emotions, but also banned all good emotions.  My strong mentality was, "All emotion is evil.  It is a trap for those foolish enough to take refuge in it."  I wasn't ready to be a "fool" again.
Even after "that" happened, and became part of my hazy history, almost impossible to remember, and a gaping pit in my mind, I still subconsciously thought that way.  When I would sense myself having too much fun, I would shut down.  Nothingness.  I liked it.  I was rational, and I was in control.  So I thought.
But God used that "rationality" to get me somewhere.  I realized that just because I didn't feel anything, didn't mean that I didn't inflict feeling upon other people.  Whether I did anything or not, I was still alive and being and breathing, and had my place in this world.  And exactly where God had placed me.  "So," thought I, "I can just act the way I should and then everything will be alright.  I still don't have to feel anything."  I was wrong.  I went on a quest to know God.  And I remembered something.  God feels things.  Genesis 6:6 says God feels pain. 
"Good for Him," I thought.  But that wasn't a good enough explanation for me, and I knew it.  I started to learn that God wants us to feel.

If I loved God as much as I wanted to love Him, then I would be willing to let Him make me feel what He wants me to feel.  Even if it seems to break my heart.  It was a matter of trust and submission for me.  I had to let go of my control.

I'm still learning.  But the good news is that I have a good teacher. The Best of the best, actually.  The King of kings and LORD of lords to be exact.
  The fact is, its scary not being in control.  It's scary feeling deep emotions when your used to having an almost non-existent emotional-system.
I know that the best place to be is where God wants me, and I truly do want to be where He wants me. More than anything else actually.  But I have to stop, put my feelings aside, and trust Him fully.
  In the last few days, I've been feeling more deeply.  To be honest, I don't really like it.  It's extremely uncomfortable.

Whereas I felt I was strong and unmovable by being outside of the realm of emotion, I was weak by leaning on my own faulty reaction to something I was too weak to handle.  I can't make another mistake by not letting God have all of my life.

So instead of being mildly moved by surface feelings, or going along with whatever is at the moment, or being cynical, wry, and detached, I'll feel what God wants me to feel.  And, dare I say it, let Him break my heart for what breaks His.  It won't be easy.  It isn't easy.  But with God, all things are possible.  I'm ready to start living freely and victoriously and fully.  With full passion, full devotion.  Having given full access to my heart of hearts to the Healer of hearts.

Gen 6:6 - God feels pain
Job 6:25 - honesty hurts sometimes!
Job 16:6 - sometimes pain isn't our own fault
Psalm 69:29 - God's salvation protects us
Jeremiah prophesies pain
John 16:21 - our pain is forgotten when we remember the joy to come
Hebrews 12:11 - discipline is good, but painful
Rev 21:4 - Someday, God will take all pain away.

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