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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Emotional Health - getting to the core

I've never really considered myself an "emotional" person.  For a female, I'm pretty even tempered.  I was raised in a house of brothers.  Emotions were pointless.  We never discussed big stuff unless it was of the spiritual nature.  I understood perfectly how the spiritual world worked.  You go through something - you give it to God and you wait.  You have a problem with someone - you give it to God and you move on.  You feel heavy, burdensome stuff - you give it to God and you get relief.  He will handle it.  And there is some serious comfort in that simplicity.  I saw God take problems and turn them around.  I saw us run out of money time and time again and miraculously someone would show up to pay Dad back for a time he loaned money to them.  Or a bank error was adjusted and suddenly we had groceries.  My parents (more times than I can count) gave us their last $20 to hitch a ride with friends to attend a feastmeeting revival with our church.  I'm not sure what they would stay home with - I guess the food in the house.  Point being, God ruled our house and He was the most important.  As I raise my family and make the important decisions, I'm so incredibly thankful for that example.  It has led me well through this life.

What we didn't do was have the hard conversations.  We didn't discuss our feelings.  I didn't know how to process other than to give it to God.  That's fine but what about the feelings?  Feelings of loss, regret, guilt, anger?  How do you reconcile it?  How do you talk it through with yourself?  What is ok?  Can you get angry and yell?  Can you cry in front of people or is that showing that you are not giving it to God?  I still can't cry in front of people.  When talking about God, no problem.  He moves me to tears often.  When talking about my mom who I see leaving me a little each day - I can't do it.  By myself, the tears flow.  Right now, no problem even though I know people will be reading this.  I have to be vulnerable.  I have to take time to feel.  I have to take time to let it out.  Otherwise it bottles up and comes out in other ways.  It's ok to cry.  It's ok to be sad.  It won't last all day.  I'm always scared to fall apart because I won't get it back together and I have too much to do. Ain't nobody got time for that.  Not true.  You will heal a little at a time and the healing is the balm.

Alzheimers is so hard to watch in a loved one.  I hear, "enjoy every moment", "cherish these times", "she still knows you - that's good" but when your mom can't go to the bathroom without your help or she begs you to let her help you knowing she can't follow through on anything you ask her to do - it's so incredibly hard.  I give her laundry to fold and she may get the towels right but she balls up everything else.  It's ok.  I gave it to her because she so desperately wants to feel important.  Feel significant.  I talk about things that she does remember, funny moments that she recently laughed about knowing that soon she won't remember those either.  There will be a blank look when I mention it.  I want to scream - how can I enjoy these moments???  How can I cherish this time???  How do you mourn someone who is still right in front of you?  Nothing is put to rest.  If you are going through this, you are not alone.  I get it.

Why am I putting all this out there?  Because when I feel, you feel.  When you feel we connect.  When we connect we help each other.  I know the purpose of my life is to help people.  I know it to the core of my being.  In order to help people I have to be real.  I have to be vulnerable.  I have to show my weakness.  I will, one day, cry in front of you.  Maybe not today, but one day.  And it will be ok.  Emotions are a part of health and not all emotions feel good.  But healing does and letting out those emotions offers healing.

Psa 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed;  lead me to the rock that is higher than I.