Why Your Feelings Matter
We have all experienced the immediate feelings that flood our souls when a relationship disappointment takes place. And they are not fun.
BY DRS. BOB AND AUDREY MEISNER – JULY 15, 2019
We have all experienced the immediate feelings that flood our souls when a relationship disappointment takes place. And they are not fun. These feelings want to take us captive and negatively affect our life. Or at least ruin our day. Depending on the degree of the offense.
This is the common language of disappointment:
I can’t believe he’s/she’s doing it again. Wow.
Is this person even remotely aware of what they are doing right now?
Is this person oblivious?
Have they considered how this would make me feel?
Whenever someone is oblivious to your point of view and haven’t considered how this must make you feel, you will likely be disappointed. Navigating the feelings that come with disappointment is a skill that can be learned. You heard that right! Whether you’ve been pegged as “too emotional” or “stone-cold”, either way, knowing what to do with your emotions (or lack of them) are the very first step in dealing with disappointment. How you “handle” these feelings is of vital importance.
“Feelings are not evil. Your feelings are a gift, given to you in order to fully experience life with its seasons of highs and lows.”
You can’t change what you don’t notice
Even though you feel strongly when you’ve been disappointed, most don’t take the time or intention to give their feelings a clear voice and a name. And believe me, clarity is very important at this stage of the game. I know for myself, I could easily recognize that I felt mad or sad. Isn’t that enough recognition for my feelings? Apparently not. Although this is true, there’s always more. And the more accurately you can pinpoint the depth of your feelings, the more your heart and soul will feel heard and validated.
Think of the last time you were disappointed. It could have been with one of your parents, your kids, your spouse, your sister, your teacher, the list could go on and on. What happened?
Did they fail to notice or appreciate your sacrifice?
Did they neglect to value your request?
Were they insensitive to you?
Did they ignore you again?
Did their actions make you feel small and insignificant?
Dig down deep, and identify which of these the disappointment made you feel:
Taken for Granted
We’ll never agree
(add your own words to this list if you need to!)
Whatever that person did (or didn’t do) has resulted in a new reality and you don’t like it. The natural tendency when we get bombarded with feelings is to do one of two things:
Push your feelings away without giving them space and a voice, or in other words, we bury our pain. And all pain is buried alive. And buried pain results in having buttons and triggers. And the more buried pain you have, the more buttons and triggers you will have. (not fun)
Give your feelings full reign to have their way with you. They are now driving your car (so to speak) and driving you to places of sabotage. That’s when you betray confidences and tell someone how awful that person is, or you attack the person who disappointed you before getting perspective.
Feelings are not evil. Your feelings are a gift, given to you in order to fully experience life with its seasons of highs and lows. We are living beings with a heartbeat and a soul, so we will absolutely feel things. This is just one of the many gifts of mankind that sets us apart from being a robot, or a mechanism, or a system or a structure.
The Best Way to Embrace your Feelings
Instead of pushing your feelings away or letting them run away on you, give them a voice and invite God’s comfort. Maybe you’re thinking, isn’t this dangerous? If I do this, won’t I become a selfish victim and make it all about me? If I give voice to my feelings, won’t they start to rule my life and lead me to dysfunction? Good question!
The most important thing about identifying and recognizing your feelings is that you can’t travel down this road alone. Sure, you might invite a few trusted people to travel down this road with you, but the safest One to talk with you about your feelings is the One who created you, designed you, and knows you very well.
Ask God to walk with you. He understands as no other person can. He created life, and He feels and He knows what you need. Create a place in your imagination and heart where you can be with God. As you invite Him into this place, sometimes you will walk in silence and just let the feelings sink into your soul. Sometimes you will hash it out, talk it out, seek for understanding. But mostly He will be there for you. There is no human on earth that can be all of this to you. They can contribute to your comfort, but they can never be the source of your comfort. God loves to meet with you in your pain, and He also longs to walk with you through your relationship disappointments.
What a wonderful future lies ahead for those who love peace, so let’s purpose to receive peace in our feelings, and become the gift (that we truly are!) in our relationships.
Hear more about this topic on Episode 10 of All About Relationships Podcast with Bob and Audrey.