Do you find yourself trying to numb out of a hard feeling? Maybe you reach for that glass of wine, the bag of chips or your credit card for retail therapy. We've all been there. But God desires us to seek him in the midst of our struggles - not replace him with these crutches.
In this episode, Carla shares practical tips on how to get through the hard feelings and how to invite Jesus into them.
Numbing as coping and the shame cycle
Carla shares about her journey with learning how to live with her big feelings. She shares how she developed coping skills in an attempt to avoid hard feelings. Coping mechanisms can look like:
- retail therapy
- Anything you use to distract you from your emotions
Unhealthy habits make our emotional state worse. Shame, guilt, self-loathing - The things we do to numb and distract from hard feelings often result in shame, guilt, and self loathing - this is referred to as the shame cycle.
How can we show up as an effective partner for the Kingdom if we are stuck in a shame cycle?
Sitting with difficult emotions is hard but it’s important to give space to process it out - you cannot heal what from what you don’t feel. Let it out.
Ask yourself “What are you resting on?” Wine, food, or the Father?
Why we avoid feeling feelings
- Some of these emotions are tied to past trauma and pain that is hard to revisit. Freedom is on the other side of feeling it.
- Sometimes we’re afraid to feel it because we think that the feeling is true - if I feel the emotion “I’m not good enough” that it’s somehow going to be true. We think if we feel it, then we might never get out of it and the feeling will overtake us and we won’t be able to cope. This is not true - God can meet us in all of our emotions! So we need to sit with them.
What does it look like to sit with your emotions?
- Acknowledge and name the emotion. Let it be messy if it needs to be. Maybe you need to cry or scream in a pillow - do what you need to do!
- Understand your feelings are valid but don’t necessarily reflect reality. Just because you’re feeling doesn’t make it true. The reality is found in God’s word - in who He is and who you are in Him.
- Invite Jesus into the emotion. God will sustain you - you are not dealing with this heavy emotion alone!
- Use a healthy coping mechanism. When the urge to default to your bad coping mechanism (food, alcohol, etc) comes, replace it with a healthy one (workout, ice your face, etc)! Sometimes, in the height of our craving, we feel like there will be no relief until we give in - Cravings only last 20 minutes - you will see it to the other side!
Hard feelings are going to come no matter what! We are called to make choices for our life that are stewarding it for the kingdom.
Are you going to deal with these emotions in a way that is honoring to God, or will you allow the lies of the past to interfere and rob you of God’s best for you? There’s a lot of unlearning and relearning to do as you work through this! There is grace for you, even as your work through society’s celebrated unhealthy ways of coping.
Affirming Truth - I can face my tough feelings with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Connect With Carla:
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Check out my blog and more at www.carlaarges.com