How Do You Feel? Back to the Basics of Feelings

I.AM.SAD. There… I admit it. Too often I tell myself that I have no right to be sad. I should be counting my blessings or keep looking for hope sightings. Some say we should be looking for the silver lining in this crisis instead of seeing all the bad in it. That worry or anxiety about what may happen indicates a lack of faith. But these sad feelings inside of me keep multiplying as I see more lives this crisis is hurting in one way or another.

I do believe God does have a plan for good for us, but if we have a turmoil of emotions inside of us, that doesn’t mean we have no faith. God knows our every feeling, He hurts with us, and He never condemns us for any of them.

God has created in each of us a complex brain with all kinds of emotions. Our emotional health is just as important to Him as our physical health is. Stuffing our feelings down inside us and not dealing with them can cause harm to ourselves and others, even unknowingly.

I was not planning to post today as I told God I can’t because too many feelings are overwhelming my mind and my heart. Then yesterday morning, I felt nudged to “get back to the basics of feelings.” I was reminded, too, of how so many years ago when I volunteered at a social service place for children, there was a big chart on the wall with all kinds of feelings on faces. If a child could identify with one of the faces, it would sometimes open the way for him/her to process the why and start talking about it.

I found another relevant resource to help us with feelings through this corona crisis. Denise Daniels has written First Aid for Feelings: A Workbook to Help Kids Cope During the Coronavirus Pandemic. You can download it in either English or Spanish.

Even adults can find help in the sound advice this workbook has to offer. Perhaps many of us need to “get back to the basics of feelings.” We can help children within our families and/or social circles learn to be smart about their feelings and help alleviate their emotional stress, but we have to start with ourselves, don’t we?

God reminded me I need to quit ignoring or stuffing my feelings. So I acknowledged this overwhelming sadness in me and wrote out some specifics of this pandemic that cause me to feel sad. Perhaps I should write specific lists for other feelings, too, like fear, worry, and anxiety.

Sometimes a mixture of emotions overwhelms me, and I can’t even figure out why, so I start to write to God about it. Then the feelings sometimes pour out and I start processing them as I am praying to our God who understands. As I sort out my mess of feelings with Jesus, I also remember He is a Savior who cares about each one. There is not one hurt we have that He hasn’t been through Himself on this earth. Not one tear, whether on our cheek or in our heart, escapes His notice and compassion.

“When Jesus saw Mary’s profound grief
and the moaning and weeping of her companions,
He was deeply moved by their pain
in His spirit and was intensely troubled.
Jesus: Where have you laid his body?
Jews: Come and see, Lord.
As they walked, Jesus wept.”
John 11:34-36 VOICE

P.S. Just as we sometimes need a doctor for physical ailments, we sometimes need a therapist to help us process our pain and emotions. There is no shame in that. Do you need further help?

Crisis Hotlines and Resources

Each of us is unique.
What works for one does not work for another.
What feelings are you experiencing today?
What helps you to acknowledge
them and work through them?

Tears Are a Language God Understands
by Heritage Singers

27 thoughts on “How Do You Feel? Back to the Basics of Feelings

  1. Yes, yes, and yes again, Trudy! God knows and understands. He truly gets where we’re coming from and He walks with us in it and through it.

    The more honest we are with Him, the deeper we experience His compassion.

    Love your words and your heart, friend …

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    1. “He truly gets where we’re coming from and He walks with us in it and through it.” That’s such a comforting truth, isn’t it, Linda? Also that His compassions never fail. May we be more and more honest with Him!

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  2. Trudy, it is so very important for us to “name” our feelings, examine them, pray to God about them, and allow Him to help us process them. Yes, there is no shame in feeling sad – I do, too! And I find myself crying easily these days with little provocation. But with the tears comes relief, and I feel my hope renewed and strengthened. May God surround you in His loving arms in these stressful times.
    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you for understanding, Martha. And thank you so much for your prayers. I’m praying right now for the same for you. Blessings to you, too! May we lean more and more into Jesus who understands our every tear and every feeling and longs for us to confide in Him!

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  3. Dear Trudy,
    Oh, yes, my emotions have been all over the place lately. After a weekend of deep mourning, over having to miss my daughter-in-law’s father’s funeral visitation because of my own sickness, along with the virus restrictions, I finally realized the Lord was calling me to lay aside some things to rest more fully with Him. He truly does understand every feeling we carry. Oh, may we all listen to His invitation to pause with Him right here. Thank you again for your sweet words, dear friend. May you receive such precious comfort from Him. Sending so much love and hugs. xoxo

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    1. Oh Bettie, I’m so sorry you missed that funeral. I identify with your heartache when sometimes we can’t be beside those we long to be with to support them. I’m sure your daughter-in-law understood, but that doesn’t help the sadness, does it? Yes, God truly does understand every feeling we carry. That’s such a comfort, isn’t it? I’m with you in this prayer – “Oh, may we all listen to His invitation to pause with Him right here.” Yes, right here, wherever we’re planted. You have encouraged me today. Thank you for your love, hugs, and prayers!

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  4. Absolutely yes to everything you’re saying here, Trudy! I’m giving myself more permission to feel whatever I’m feeling these days, and often what I’m feeling is a variety of uncomfortable emotions. But so be it. Naming those emotions and looking at them more closely helps me to deal with them in more healthy ways.

    It takes courage to process what we’re feeling. And energy. And prayer. (And patience with others who are uncomfortable with our sadness.) Thank you for this important post, my friend!

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Lisa. Yes, it definitely takes courage, energy, and prayer to process what we’re feeling. Oh yes, patience is so important, too! Not everyone wants to hear about our feelings, do they? I’m so grateful that Jesus always understands us and wants us to freely share any feelings we have! May we freely pour out our deepest feelings to Him!

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  5. A very important message Trudy. It is okay to feel sad during this time, and so important for our mental and physical health to acknowledge the feelings. Just by writing this post helps others give themselves permission to feel what they may have been stuffing. I know you have helped me. 🙂 May those God nudges bring you constant comfort that He knows…knows all you feel and are going through. And He knows the ending too. hugs!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and prayer, Lynn. “And He knows the ending, too.” That is a comfort, too. May God give us grace to remember His ending will be much better than what we want! Hugs to you, too!

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  6. Oh how timely this is and full of helpful wisdom too! I’m so glad you did post this, dear Trudy. Yes, it is okay to feel sad or anything else whatsoever doing these unprecedented times, even if they seem to overwhelm us all at once. Although we don’t always feel comfortable with feeling the feelings, it’s certainly worth sitting with them for a while to discover what message they might want to give us. I’ve chastised myself for the overwhelm, anxiety and sadness I’ve been feeling, and how it’s caused me to be low, discouraged and moderately depressed again.

    But your words here have freed me to see it’s okay, it really is because Jesus knows, cares and understands. Many are hurting right now and it’s perfectly understandable to be broken and saddened by recent world events. Thank you too for the links. I’ve sent the First Aid for Feelings Workbook one to my daughter-in-law because our young grandson’s behaviour suggests he might be experiencing a similar sense of overwhelm as we experience, but he probably hasn’t got the right words for it yet. Blessings, love and grateful hugs! xo ❤

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    1. “I’ve chastised myself for the overwhelm, anxiety and sadness I’ve been feeling, and how it’s caused me to be low, discouraged and moderately depressed again.” I so identify with your words here, Joy. Thank you so much for understanding. I am up and down and all over the place sometimes. One moment I feel comforted by the truth that Jesus knows, cares, and understands. The next moment I totally forget. I’m so glad He has such patience and compassion with us. I hope the workbook will help your grandson. How old is he now? I feel so bad for all kids, but it’s especially hard for parents to help those really young ones to understand. It’s like their whole world of what they always did and know is turned upside down. Such drastic change is hard for any age, isn’t it? Blessings, love, and grateful hugs to you, too! May God fill us with His peace that passes all understanding!

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      1. You do? Oh that’s actually comforting to me, although I’m so sorry you’ve also been having conflicting emotions. Yes, it is reassuring to remember how patient and compassionate God is with us! He’s would never tell us to shape up and pull ourselves together, quick smart. Our grandson is six. His mother was really pleased with the workbook even if she thinks he’s not that bothered by the coronavirus. But I do believe he is probably feeling adrift from his usual routines at least. Children often pick up on their parents’ anxieties as well. And it’s quite a change to have to adapt to homeschooling instead. Amen to your prayer! Peace is such a wonderful blessing to have especially during these turbulent times. xo 🦋🌈💕

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        1. Oh so true, Joy. He would never tell us to shape up and pull ourselves together. Such a comforting thought! It’s hard to believe your grandson is six already! I’m glad his mom liked the work book. Yes, those young ones do feel adrift more than we realize. Our 3-year-old great grandson can’t understand why he can’t go grocery shopping with Mommy anymore. It breaks my heart that life has changed so much for kids, too. ❤️🙏🏼🦋

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          1. Mine, too, Trudy. The little ones must be bewildered and bothered by the difference more than anything else. We adults struggle with it all so it’s bound to rub off on them to some extent. Our grandson is extremely attached to their cat and is forever picking her up for play (and comfort, perhaps) like a cuddly toy! How I hope and pray things improve very soon for their sake and for those waiting to come into this world. 💜🐈🌈

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  7. Awww, Trudy, can I tell you how beautiful you are? Your authentic words here had me nodding my head. I had my own mini-meltdown this past weekend. My poor husband wanted to help me, but I had no idea what I needed and he was clueless as to what he could do. So . . . he gave me time to just be alone and do something that relaxed me. After a few hours, I was doing better.

    We do need to acknowledge our feelings. Stuffing them only makes things worse. I’m so thankful we are loved by a Savior who’s felt every single one of them, who loves us even at our ugliest. Thank you for such beautiful thoughts here, my friend. Sending you love and blessings.

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    1. Your comment brings tears to my eyes, Jeanne. Not only for your kind-hearted words, but also what you said – “I’m so thankful we are loved by a Savior who’s felt every single one of them, who loves us even at our ugliest.” Me, too! I’m sorry for your mini-meltdown, but it probably released some pressure? We try so hard to be strong for our loved ones, don’t we? How sweet of your husband to see you needed time alone to do something that relaxes you. I’m so glad it helped. I’m finding I need to do that even more lately in this stressful time. Sending you love and blessings back! May God give us grace, strength, and peace to get through this difficult time!

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  8. I am glad you felt nudged to post today, Trudy. I have been feeling the same as you – sad, then guilty for feeling sad. You are so right – God knows and understands our human feelings. We are allowed to feel sad at times. I have to remember God is with us even in our times of sadness and stress. Thank you for this honest post.

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    1. Thank you for understanding, Laurie. It’s hard not to feel sad, isn’t it? I, too, have to remember God is with us even in our times of sadness and stress. May we keep remembering God knows and understands our feelings and cares so deeply!

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  9. This is so important, Trudy! Ignoring my feelings is something I did for so long that I still have to be intentional about acknowledging them and sometimes it takes me a while to process and figure out what I am actually feeling.
    This resource sounds like a great way to help children during this time. I’m glad you decided to post. I think this is a great reminder that God cares about our feelings and that we can be honest with him.

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    1. I really identify with what you say here, Lesley. It takes me a while to process and figure out what I’m actually feeling, too. And why. I’m so grateful God cares about our feelings and we can be honest with Him! And that He helps us sort them out and gets us through them. May we have grace to acknowledge our feelings and deal with them!

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  10. Aw, Trudy. I’m sorry that you’ve been feeling sad lately.What a blessing to find comfort as you made your list and poured out your feelings to the One who holds all your tears in His bottle. I love your heart, my friend, and I’m so glad you answered that divine nudge and posted this week.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtfulness in featuring this post this Friday, Maree. That is so sweet of you. There are so many feelings that get stifled when they aren’t accepted or understood. I am so grateful God cares about each and every one. May we always remember God knows our every feeling and hurts with us!

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