Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Are you "Fine"?

The other day I was talking with a man whose father had recently died. He was getting ready to go on a trip because he felt that he really needed to just get out of town and clear his head. Rocked by his father's death, he thought some time away would help him. When I inquired about his mother, he replied that she always says she is "fine".  Then he added, "I don't know how that is because I am NOT "fine"".  I was impressed he could say that, so many of us wouldn't.

Why is it so hard to admit when we are truly in emotional turmoil?  How healthy is it for us to slap "fine" on our feelings and stuff them away? What are the repercussions of refusing to feel our feelings?

I am not talking about providing a litany of our aches pains and minor traumas to every cashier and bank teller in town, but communicating our true selves to those who love and care for us.

There is a song by the band Superchic(k) called Stand in the Rain, and one of the lyrics says,
"The shadows are long and she fears if she cries that first tear, the tears will not stop raining down".
Do you suppose that is what we are afraid of - emotional apacolypse? Afraid if we unleash all the emotions we have been stuffing down, setting aside or hiding away we won't recover from the onslaught? Perhaps if we let all that stuff go we won't recognize ourselves anymore? Maybe our friends will think differently of us if we admit we have been carrying emotional baggage.

Perhaps we are simply afraid to admit we feel painful emotions at all. Admitting how we feel to others opens up a level of intimacy we are uncomfortable with. We can Tweet and Facebook all the mundane details of our lives, but when it comes to openly and honestly communicating our feelings, needs and our deepest hurts to one another, we have nothing to say.

As painful and sometimes embarrassing (nobody likes to get to the ugly cry in public!) as it is to reveal ourselves to others, it draws us together and gives us an healthy outlet for all those swirling emotions. James 5:16 says, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed". Unless we admit we are broken, we can't find healing. God is our ultimate counselor, but hopefully you have surrounded yourself with good, supportive people that will pray with you and for you.

The best thing about hashing that out and wading through all that emotional garbage is PEACE.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27). If you hold on to your emotions they have great power over you. Let them go. Feel them and release them, and ask God to fill up your broken places with His peace and love, you will be amazed at how much better you feel.

Do not be afraid of how you will look or what others will think. If you are not "fine" fess up. Your true friends will listen, comfort and care for you. Burdens, both physical and emotional, are easier to handle when shared.
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2). Allow your friends to minister to you and return the favor when the tables are turned, you will be blessed.

In His Peace - 

Full lyrics to Stand in the Rain from Superchic(k): 
Stand In The Rain:

She never slows down / She doesn’t know why, but she knows / That when she’s all alone / It feels like it’s all coming down / She won’t turn around / The shadows are long and she fears / If she cries that first tear / The tears will not stop raining down

[CHORUS] So stand in the rain / Stand your ground / Stand up when it’s all crashing down / You stand through the pain / You won’t drown / And one day what’s lost can be found / You stand in the rain

She won’t make a sound / Alone in this fight with herself / And the fear’s whispering / If she stands, she’ll fall down / She wants to be found / The only way out is through everything / She’s running from / She wants to give up and lie down

[CHORUS] So stand in the rain / Stand your ground / Stand up when it’s all crashing down / You stand through the pain / You won’t drown / And one day what’s lost can be found / You stand in the rain

**Why is it that lyrics don't have the same effect here on the page without the music??**

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