Years ago, there was a popular song, “Feelings.”
As the lyrics go, “feelings, nothing more than feelings…whoa…whoa…whoa…”
(It’s bad Karaoke, let me tell ya).
Anyway, I’ve been giving some thought to the feelings factor. I’ve seen how it has done some damage in my own life. Temper tantrums, crying jags, meltdowns of epic proportion- whatever you want to call them – feelings, let’s be real, rarely lead us to make great decisions which improve our lives.
But wreck our lives? Well, that’s a different story.
For those of us in recovery, for those of us coming from abuse, the feelings thing is a tricky course to navigate. In my case, because feelings weren’t safe in my home, growing up, I learned to suppress, stuff, until…boom! Explosion happened. Not a good coping mechanism.
And so, a girl of extremes, when life moved on, I was determined to fully express my feelings whenever I had them. Oh yeah. This was fun and games. No one was going to control me!
Hence, I was OUT of control.
The cliché in life is true: it’s about balance and moderation. And that was NOT something I was good at. I was not good at dealing, in a healthy with my emotions.
Scripture tells us, like it or not, we all need to do this:
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
Years after the immediate damage of both my eating disorders and my childhood abuse, God has patiently- and gradually- led me into honestly looking at my heart, the factory producing all of these blessed feelings in the first place.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
It’s often not pretty…or quick…or easy… But it is necessary. Life will, inevitably, push our buttons. And those feelings, which, left unchecked, can blow up our lives.
But we aren’t left powerless. We choose what we do with the feelings switch. We may not be able to control what, exactly pops up, but we can choose our reaction to it.
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.. Proverbs 25:28
Self-control is something, yes, God has given to us.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.. 2 Timothy 1:7
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
It’s up to us to use it, practice it, apply it.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.. 2 Peter 1:5-7
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.. 1 Corinthians 10:13
So, with that in mind, let’s remember that when it comes to the switch, whenever we’re tempted to just let life “push our buttons.”
We can make another choice. We can feel our feelings without allowing them to wreck our lives.
It IS possible!