When Grief Taught Me to Honor My Feelings

“Honor your feelings.”

The phrase hit me as I read through my Grief Recovery handbook.

What a strange concept.

So different from what I’ve heard from leaders- my church- the world- my whole life.

All I’ve ever heard is to ignore your feelings. Don’t act on your feelings, or, don’t trust them. At the very least they’re useless. At the most- dangerous.

Never to honor them. Or let them flow, or explore them.

Is this another reason artists have had a hard time being accepted by religion? Because emotions are messier than logic.

Or so they think.

I would argue that religion is very logic-driven. And it creates ultimate separation from God. And chaos.

Emotions are hard to define or control, so instead of helping artists find healthy outlets, the religious shut them down.

But we’re made in God’s image- and God clearly shows emotion. ….Jesus showed emotion- even grief.

So how can we demonize it? Ban it. Plaster a poison sign on it.

 

They had seen strange things enough through that Doorway. But it was stranger than any of them to look round and find themselves in warm daylight, the blue sky above them, flowers at their feet, and laughter in Aslan’s eyes.

 

He turned swiftly round, crouched lower, lashed himself with his tail and shot away like a golden arrow.

 

“Come further in! Come further up!” he shouted over his shoulder. . . .

 

“So,” said Peter, “night falls on Narnia. What, Lucy! You’re not crying? With Aslan ahead, and all of us here?”

 

“Don’t try to stop me, Peter,” said Lucy, “I am sure Aslan would not. I am sure it is not wrong to mourn for Narnia. . . .”

 

“Yes and I did hope,” said Jill, “that it might go on forever. I knew our world couldn’t. I did think Narnia might.”

 

“I saw it begin,” said the Lord Digory. “I did not think I would live to see it die.”

 

“Sirs,” said Tirian. “The ladies do well to weep. See, I do so myself. I have seen my mother’s death. What world but Narnia have I ever known? It were no virtue, but great discourtesy, if we did not mourn.”

 

-C.S. Lewis | The Last Battle

 

Father please teach me how to honor YOU by honoring my feelings.

You gave them to me, so will not burry them, numb them or toss them in the trash.

I choose to be ruled by my spirit…but You have also given me a body and a soul…so it would be wrong to dishonor these gifts by trying to reject them or shut them down completely.

I want to be healthy and thriving – spirit. body.

SOUL.

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