We arrived home this evening after being out of town for a funeral these past few days. It has been a long, emotionally draining week, and I have to admit that I am happy to be home. I have a lot on my mind, and to be honest, I am tired of “feeling”.
Feelings are exhausting sometimes, aren’t they? I guess this is why so many people spend so much of their lives trying to numb the pain in one way or another. I’ve been there. I’ve gone down the road of doing anything and everything in my power to numb my feelings in order to avoid suffering. And I’ve found that this never really works.
In the end, feelings always catch up to you. Attempting to ignore them really only prolongs the agony. It’s so much better to just let the feelings come, and wait them out until they pass. Because they do eventually pass. Always.
I’ve learned a lot about feelings over the years. I’ve learned that feelings aren’t necessarily wrong. Rather, they are instinctual and impulsive. They respond instantaneously to life, before logic has a chance to assess the situation. They are the innermost indicator of who we are, and where we are at. They are intuitive and informative. In general, if we are paying attention—if we are willing to take time to feel rather than rushing to react—our feelings will not betray us, but teach us.
I have felt a lot of things this past week. I have felt sorrow. I have felt sadness. I have felt anxiety. I have felt fear. I have felt insecurity. I have felt anger. But I have also felt joy. I have felt gratitude. I have felt excitement. I have felt satisfaction. I have felt love.
And the combination of these feelings this past week has taught me something. I have discovered that I am growing. I am responding differently to grief and tragedy today than I would have six months ago. I have taken massive steps forward, and I am actually learning how to process my negative emotions in a healthy way, rather than trying to numb the pain. I am learning, once again, to just feel. To feel, even when I don’t want to feel.
I am so thankful for this. I am so thankful for how far I have come. I am so thankful for the healing that has taken place in my heart. And I am even thankful that I will never really “arrive” in this lifetime, because that means that life will just keep getting better and better the more I learn and grow. I am excited for that. And I am excited to continue learning from my feelings.
What have your feelings taught you over the years? Do you tend to try to numb them out, or have you learned how to navigate them in healthy ways?