It can be harder than we realize to truly walk in freedom, to let go of the safety nets we’ve built around ourselves and our emotions; it takes a lot of courage.
There is so much fear attached because our normal reactions and coping mechanisms are how we self-protect. Last season, Heather and Jamie were on a journey of identifying their unhealthy patterns, and now they are getting the chance to change those patterns and walk in freedom in their daily lives, not only for their sake, but for the sake of those they’re closest to.
The Damage of Emotional Blockage
We tend to stuff negative feelings and emotions, often out of the urge to protect our true, vulnerable selves.
But just like rocks in a garden hose, as those emotions build up, a blockage will occur, and those emotions will leak out in unhealthy ways. Often, it’s the people closest to us (spouses, kids, etc.) who get the brunt of this unhealthy leakage.
This leakage can look like,
Passive aggressive responses
Passive aggressive responses are ways of indirectly expressing frustration, hurt, etc. Instead of being open and honest about our feelings or discontent, we use silence, denial, or other hints to communicate.
We often want people to know how we feel or how they’ve wronged us without having to spell it out for them. But the healthiest way to deal with these situations is often to spell out exactly how we feel and why.
We all cope with overwhelming and negative feelings in our own way. Avoidant behaviors are any behaviors used to avoid feeling or addressing difficult emotions.
Some people may rush to busyness, filling their time and schedules so full that they don’t have the time to be still in discomfort.
Others may turn to mind-numbing activities like excessive sleep or substances.
The ways in which we run away from our emotions are endless, but “avoiding problems isn’t solving them, and it can leave you with nagging anxiety about what you’re not confronting.”
We can’t run from our emotions forever. Once the hose becomes too full, it’s time to address what we’ve been avoiding for much too long.
How do we address blockage?
Addressing our feelings directly is scary, but it’s necessary. When we aren’t vulnerable and open about our battles, we are withholding our true selves from those who love us.
Next time you feel the urge to address a frustration through a passive aggressive remark, take a moment to assess, what am I actually feeling right now? What is the vulnerable part of me that I’m trying to protect? And be open and honest with yourself and others about those feelings.
It’s important to share your thoughts and feelings in a safe environment, even if you feel like they’re dumb or irrational.
Sometimes we have to teach those around us how they can best care for us. Like Heather, maybe you need to take your hard and confusing emotions to your spouse and just ask them to be patient with you that day.
“How are you gonna let the Lord come in and walk with you in these feelings?”
Or maybe you just need to take your thoughts and feelings to the Lord. Invite Him into your most vulnerable parts and allow Him to show you His love.
Relief is temporary, but freedom is forever.
The things that help us through a time of crisis may be necessary for a period, but there will come a time when we must let them go in order to walk in fullness and freedom.
But sometimes we get so comfortable in a place that moving forward feels almost impossible.
“Maybe God’s trying to hand me the answer I’ve longed for for so long, and I don’t know if I want to pick it up.”
The good news is, God meets us right where we’re at.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
He wants so much more for you than temporary relief. He wants to give you freedom. Will you receive it?
This season, we’re going to faithfully follow the Lord. Jamie and Heather are focused on living a life where the people closest to them see Jesus.
What are you learning in this season? We want to hear from you! Text “Life” to 23101.