Feel Free to Feel

Feel Free to Feel

Episode: 063

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Feel Free to Feel

I. Introduction

A. In Chapter 18 of her book Reset, Debra tells a story about a pastor who spent most of his life avoiding difficult emotions
1. He didn’t realize he was missing out on positive emotions too
2. They traced false beliefs about emotions being a weakness to a time when He watched his brother get picked on, bullied, and harassed.
3. The downsides of suppressing emotions – Capping your emotions causes you to miss out on joy, peace, hope, and many other positive emotions.

B. Have you ever noticed how many people are uncomfortable with emotions?
How many times have you been in an emotional situation and looked around the room to see how others behave?

II. Signs of Emotional Discomfort

A. Do you find yourself apologizing for displays of emotion like crying? *
B. Have you ever caught yourself suppressing smiles/laughter when others share difficult things?
C. Do you feel uncomfortable receiving compliments? *
D. Do you avoid conflict or confrontation?  *
E. Does anger seem to be the easiest emotion to express?
F. Attempts to distract/numb from unpleasant feelings
G. Have you ever had the thought that someone showing emotions is a sign of weakness?

Maybe you are not as comfortable with emotions as you think you are.

III. Rewiring Our Default Mode

A. Natural tendency is to avoid uncomfortable things
1. An act of self-preservation
Example: A hot stove, when something scares you, you jump away.
2. Reinforced by patterns from family/culture

B. The problem: Confusing, uncomfortable with harmful

  1. Pushing through discomfort at the gym to build strength
    2. The last 15-30 minutes of a run.
    3. The last week of a 30 day challenge 

    C. Emotional muscles also need the discomfort to grow stronger
    1. Feelings are not inherently good or bad
A. I can recall many times I have had to push myself to go to a social gathering with friends or family. 
I cannot recall one time when I regretted going afterward. I typically enjoyed going once there and would have missed out if I had given in to the discomfort.

IV. Give Yourself Permission to Feel

A. Reflection question: 
How often do you lean into what you or others are feeling? 
How quick are you to pull away?
B. Jesus was emotional. He felt deeply.
1. Scholars have identified over 39 emotions Jesus felt
2. He gave permission to be in tune with our feelings

Jesus felt joy. (John 15:10-11)
Jesus felt sorrow. (Luke 19:41)
Jesus felt grief. John 11:35)
Jesus felt exhaustion. (John 4:6)
Jesus felt anger. (Matthew 23:33)
Jesus felt compassion. (Matthew 9:36)
Jesus felt agony. (Luke 22:44)

V. The Value of Feeling Deeply

A. Being intentional about feeling rather than distracting/numbing
B. Allowing difficult feelings strengthens emotional muscles
C. This unlocks ability for richer positive emotions 
    1. Hard feelings are catalysts for fulfilling ones
    2. "Weeping...but joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5)

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm
30.5 NIT).

V. The Value of Feeling Deeply

The Importance of Feeling:

  • We need to allow ourselves to lean into discomfort rather than distracting/numbing
  • This builds our “emotional muscles” and capacity for richer positive emotions
  • The hard feelings are often the catalyst/pathway to fulfilling feelings like peace, joy, gratitude
  • “…Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning” 
(Psalm 30:5)

VI. Conclusion

A. Encouragement to feel the full range of emotions
When we allow ourselves to feel deeply on one side of emotions it opens us up to feel deeply on the other side as well.
Sorrow -> Joy
Anxiety -> Peace

B. Verse for reflection:

When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.”
Then Jesus wept. John 11:33-35 NLT


Show Notes

In this episode, we discuss the chapter Feel Free to Feel. This is part of a study inspired by Reset – Powerful Habits to Own Your Thoughts, Understand Your Feelings, and Change Your Life by Debra Fileta. We take concepts from the book each week and apply them to brain health.


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Last updated on: 05/14/2024

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