Emotions flood body and soul

By Dave Henning / April 16, 2024

“We come into the world not primarily as people who think but as people who feel.  Emotions flood through our bodies and souls — our mind, will, and emotions — reminding us of this truth.  They don’t stop at assigned places, and when we do try to stem their flow, we fail.”- Jennifer Allen

In Chapter 3 (“Where Did the Mess Begin?”) of Untangle Your Emotions, Jennifer Allen asserts that, from our earliest days, we were taught not to feel what we feel.  Furthermore, Jennifer feels confident that people conditioned you right from the start regarding what to do when you felt a feeling.  And, like model students, we learned those lessons by heart.  Immutable stories, the author notes, written deep into the crevices of our souls.

Consequently, this begins a lifelong practice of denying ourselves permission to feel what we felt.  As a result, we deny ourselves the truth of our humanity – of our creation in the image of God.  Most significantly, God feels all those feelings.  And He created us to feel them as well.  In fact, Jennifer stresses, we enter the world primarily as people who feel, not as people who think.

However, author Lindsay Gibson notes the negative impact of messages that teach us not to feel.  In Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, Lindsay writes:

“Knowing your true emotions and thoughts probably felt dangerous if it threatened to distance you from the people you depended on.  You learned that your goodness or badness lay not only in your behavior, but in your mind as well.  In this way, you may have learned the absurd idea that you can be both a bad person for having certain thoughts and feelings, and you may still hold that belief.”

In conclusion, Jenneifer observes, even the church can pass along harmful messages about our feelings.  Many followers of Jesus experience hurt and confusion when the church denies their emotional realities.

Today’s question: How do you react when emotions flood through your body and soul?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Live and thrive – God’s design”

About the author

Dave Henning

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