The earnest work of feeling

By Dave Henning / May 2, 2024

“Whatever the reason, there will be times when doing the earnest work of feeling just isn’t the right step for you to take.  We all have seasons like these, and my advice whenever you encounter one is to simply let the feeling drift by. . . .  If you find yourself in survival mode for any reason at all, go ahead and stay firmly planted on the shoreline.”- Jennifer Allen

In Chapter 10 (“Give Yourself Some Space”) of Untangle Your Emotions, Jennifer Allen stresses that at times you must postpone dealing with emotions.  Certainly, you’ll need to deal with those emotions at some point in time.  But today just isn’t that day.

Instead, as you stand on the shoreline, watch the waves as they come ion.  One after another after another.  Furthermore, as you notice them, acknowledge and name them for what they are.  Above all, you’ll intuitively know when you’re ready to process them.

Yet, the author observes, for some people it’s not that easy to feel a feeling.  Think of it this way, Jennifer explains:

“Most of us know in our heads the difference between hot and cold, but to sit and feel, absorb, enjoy the warmth of a summer day is entirely different than just noting and naming that it’s sunny outside.  If it is raining, you can notice, or you can go outside and let it soak into your skin.  This is our attempt to feel the rain on our faces,”

Consequently, Jennifer presents four parts to follow once you’re ready to feel.  The author covers Part 1 today.

Part 1: Pause.  Most likely the pause Jennifer suggests you take means that, after a mere minute, tears begin to fall.  Tears that have needed to fall for a long time.

Most significantly, sometimes all you need is a quiet minute to feel everything you need to feel.  A quiet minute free of your typical distractions.  Picture yourself held by God in a quiet pause with whatever comes.

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you do the earnest work of feeling?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Emotional acceptance”

About the author

Dave Henning

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