Landing spot or building season

By Dave Henning / May 4, 2024

“It’s a good idea to view [expressing your feelings] as a season of building a healthier relationship with your emotions and not as a landing spot where you will forever name every insignificant mood or feeling flying through your head.”- Jennifer Allen

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”- Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

In Chapter 10 (“You are Not Alone in This”) of Untangle Your Emotions, Jennifer Allen reminds us that there’s no shame in beginning something.  Because, the author stresses, as we learn to express to another human being how we’re feeling, we’re going to:

  • trip and fall.
  • mislabel our feelings from time to time.
  • step in it once in a while.

Most significantly, Jennifer reports, the right side of our brain lights up when we allow ourselves the space to feel versus think our problems.  Because the right side of our brain serves as the place of connection, empathy, and healing.  As well as the place of connection with God and other people.

Certainly, the author notes, you won’t get it right every time.  Especially at first.  But, Jennifer underscores, getting it right isn’t even the point.  For now, simply get used to hearing yourself say, “I feel . . .”  Therefore, Jennifer encourages (bolding author’s): To be truly seen, soothed, safe, and not alone in the pain heals you in ways you can’t believe unless you have felt it.

Hence, Jennifer notes Jesus’ response to Martha’s anger and Mary’s grief over the death of their brother Lazarus.  Above all, Jesus chose not to shame Martha.  Instead, He offered comfort and issued a greater hope than an earthly healing (John 11:25-26).

The author continues:

“Fix-It Jesus does not show up here.  Feel-It Jesus shows up and weeps with His friend. . . .  There’s nothing to say.  There’s nothing to do.  You only want people around you feeling the pain with you.  Something about mourning with those who mourn helps when nothing else can and nothing else will.  Jesus knew that.”

Today’s question: Do you view expressing your feelings as a landing spot or as a season of building?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “What people actually need”

About the author

Dave Henning

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