It happens on a regular basis. I’ll be meeting with someone…we get into the real stuff of life and faith…and they start crying. Then…they say it…the words I hate to hear…”I’m Sorry For Being So Emotional.”
Have you ever heard someone say that? Maybe you’ve said it recently. Apologizing to someone for feeling sad, or scared, or tender. Where does this come from? When did we begin to believe that our emotions are something best kept to ourselves? That what we are feeling is somehow a burden and an inconvenience to whoever we are with. This is far more toxic to your Soul than you may even realize.
To be “Sorry For Your Emotions” is to believe:– Your emotions are wrong (in other words you are wrong)– Having emotions is wrong– Conformity is more valuable than connectedness– God has nothing to say to you through your emotions
Besides…what does being “EMOTIONAL” even mean? What specifically are you apologizing for? The implied assumption is that “Negative” emotions such as sadness, tenderness, fear, etc are not welcomed in our everyday lives…especially when we are with others. Think about it, when was the last time that you apologized for feeling happy, or excited, or content? We don’t. But when these “negative” emotions slip out, we quickly apologize for them and work really hard to not feel them around others anymore.
This is both flawed and fatal thinking.
Your emotions are the dashboard of your soul. That is why your emotions…all of them…are vital to your existence. While it is unhealthy to let your emotions Drive you, it is very healthy to let your emotions Reveal you. To let them clue you in to the state of your soul. To let you know what’s really going on inside. And to invite God in. That’s why you need to Stop Apologizing For Being Emotional.
Here’s a couple thoughts on how you can Stop Apologizing for your Emotions and Start Acknowledging them:
1) When you feel something…Name It!Can you imagine the next time that you are “feeling something” in front of someone what might happen if you just owned it without apologizing for it? “I’m feeling very tender about that right now…” or “I’m feeling very scared for some reason…” It WILL be odd at first, but it can be VERY empowering and even disarming.One of our Elders came up with the little acronym SASHET to help us check in with what we’re feeling together. It stands forS – SadA – AngryS – ScaredH – HappyE – ExcitedT – TenderI know…it’s not how you spell Sachet…but Spelling isn’t an emotion…so go with it. AND it doesn’t cover all of the emotions. But it’s a GREAT place to start and a great place for you to start your next Small Group or Family Dinner or Staff Meeting. Try it and see what happens.For a more complete representation of all the Emotions, see the FEELING WHEEL.
2) When you feel something, ask God…”Where is this coming from?”Let deep speak to deep. Let God take you to the depths of your soul so that you can discover the depths of His love for you.Your emotions are one of the ways that your Soul speaks to you. So let them speak and learn to listen. As soon as you can (the sooner the better) ask the deeper question of “Why”? and see where God takes you.
3) When you apologize for being “Emotional”…apologize for apologizing.Seriously. This is a HUGE step! Right there in that moment, correct your self and set the record straight – I will NOT apologize for feeling an emotion.The person you are with may not get it or may not care. That’s ok. You are not responsible for their soul…but you are responsible for yours. So take responsibility. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling in that moment and learn to get ok with it.
There’s so much more to say…but this is a good place to begin. Let’s agree together that we will stop Apologizing for our Emotions and start Acknowledging and even Accepting them. Let’s allow our Souls to speak to us and let’s ask God to speak to our Souls. Let’s learn to live in the emotional freedom that Jesus himself modeled and made a way for through the Holy Spirit.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.Do you tend to apologize for your emotions? If so, which ones? How can you begin to acknowledge, accept and express your emotions all the way through?