I cried myself to sleep last night and that’s okay. Our society has plagued our minds to think that only the weak cry, only the weak feel anxious and overwhelmed, only the weak feel sadness. This is not true at all. Why do we try to regulate our feelings to the point where there is no balance. Balance comes with good and bad, yin and yang as they say. We are going to feel negative feelings and emotions (I won’t get technical into the differences between feelings and emotions, that’s a whole other subject). The more we bottle them up, suppress them, and ignore them, the worse the outcome will be. This is what we have been taught to do thought. Being strong and courageous does not involve only good days with sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns. In order to be courageous, there has to be an act of courage and an act of courage involves some adversity. Adversity involves heartache, disappointment, unexpected events, etc. Why wouldn’t you feel some negative feelings with adversity?
I have learned this simple mantra: “I acknowledge this feeling and I allow myself to experience it in it’s fullness.” Man, does it feel good to cry sometimes. The key here is to acknowledge and experience it but not to act on it or linger in it. Be 100% honest with how you are feeling but don’t allow the feeling to define you or the situation.
When I was going through depression, the biggest thing I did was hate myself for being depressed and hate the way I felt. That did not help my situation at all. It was a never ending cycle of feeling depressed and then feeling anger because I was depressed, and then feeling more depressed because I didn’t want to feel anger. Sounds unreasonable right? But this is what we do in some way. Embrace yourself. Embrace how you feel. Embrace your emotions. You will have sadness in your life, you will cry yourself to sleep at some point. I hear to tell you, it’s okay. We are not superhuman.
Here’s the light at the end of the tunnel. God understands. God uniquely made us and created us as complex beings that have a variety of feelings and emotions. The key is to delight yourself in Him knowing that when you do cry yourself to sleep, He will lift up your head and remind you of His goodness and mercy. When you are angry and overwhelmed, He will give you peace that surpasses all understanding and remind you that the battle is not yours but His and victory is inevitable. The balance comes in when we acknowledge our feelings and acknowledge who God is. He gives us joy for sadness, strength for weakness, He takes our burdens and lightens our load. The truth of His promises carries us and lifts us up. It tells us its okay to feel this moment of sadness because He has promised me gladness. Remind yourself in a temporary state of negativity that you are not perfect and you’re going to feel bad sometimes, but God is greater than any feeling and He will always lift me up out of darkness if I would just look to Him.
I will end with this. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV), Paul says “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”