Getting in Touch With Your Feelings

For many this can be like learning a whole new language which takes time and effort.

First. To start, examine the symptoms in your life. Fortunately, God is merciful. When our life is "out of tune" he gives us symptoms to show us that something is amiss and needs correction.

For instance, you may suffer continual physical symptoms. You may feel unfulfilled, or no longer feel close to your spouse and be lonely. You may argue a lot or withdraw and look to someone outside your marriage for affection. You may even be involved in an affair or fantasizing about one.

There are endless symptoms that, if we will be honest, can show us that we have many repressed negative feelings that need to be resolved so we can feel and communicate our positive emotions.

Second. Realize that it takes considerable courage and honesty to acknowledge these feelings. Start practicing being honest about what you want. State clearly what that is and not what you think others want you to say. Then, little by little, start doing the same with what you are feeling.

Third. To bring back the wonder you had as a small child—one of life's richest emotions—take time to smell the roses. Plant a tree. Pick a flower. Take it to your loved one or give it to a friend. Write a poem. Listen to music that touches your heart. Draw or paint a picture. Climb a mountain. Let your hair down. Do something a little crazy. Get out of your comfort zone. Have fun. Go see a funny movie. Laugh. Go see a sad movie. Cry.

Fourth. Slow down. Stop the mad world of busyness at least once a day to listen to your inner self, to read inspirational material such as the Psalms in the Bible and meditate on what you read.

God is merciful. When our life is
out of tune, he gives us symptoms.

Fifth. Take time to be with your spouse and children or close friends. Hug them often. Tell them that you love them. Take time to talk and even more time to listen to them. Encourage them to tell you what they are feeling. Listen with your heart. Give them your presence. And please, no advice!

Sixth. Join a good therapy, support, or twelve-step recovery group where it is safe to share your struggles and express your feelings. This is a great way to learn by others' example and by practicing yourself.

Seventh. If you feel closed down, you may need to get into counseling. Sharing feelings is something that is learned. If it wasn't learned in childhood, it needs to be learned now. We all need teachers for this.

Finally. Pray. Some years ago when my life was outwardly successful, inside I was feeling very empty. Because I had been hurt as a child I had built walls around my heart to stop feeling the pain. Unfortunately, this cut off my good feelings as well. This was why I felt so desolate inside. So I asked God to help me feel again and lead me to the help I needed. He did. However, getting through my walls was painful. But I have learned to feel again–and am much healthier physically, emotionally and spiritually. God will do the same for you if you truly want him to and ask him.

Love's Tears

Those who do not know
how to express their hurt
or own their anger
and share it creatively,
who hide their weaknesses
and cannot say, "I was wrong,"
nor weep with all their heart
and shed tears unashamedly,
do not know how to live or love
with all their hearts either.

– © Dick Innes

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