Have you ever been in a rush to pick things up and just thrown it all in a side room or closet? A lot of us do that with our emotions – except we never return to put them away. We just keep stuffing.
When we have guests over, they think it all looks great…until the room starts overflowing or they ask to see the whole house.
Sometimes we just stop caring altogether and let the mess take over. And then we stop inviting people in because don’t want them to see the chaos of our lives.
There’s an organizational principle that says,
A place for everything and everything in its place.
Did you know that your emotions have a place? In the Bible, King David knew this and recorded it for us in the Psalms – his ultimate place was God. Ours is too. The New Testament exhorts us, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
We also have Christian brothers and sisters who can help us with our struggles. As the body of Christ, we’re called to empathize with each other (Romans 12:15) and bear each others burdens (Galatians 6:2).
Don’t buy the lie that you can eliminate your emotions by compartmentalizing them. When you don’t deal with your pain, anger, hurt, fear, anxiety, depression, etc. in healthy ways, those feelings will come out in unhealthy ways. Just give it time.
Wondering why you were so short with that person? Stuffing. Can’t beat that bad habit or addiction? Stuffing. Can’t seem to ever relax and enjoy life? Stuffing. So many of our negative attitudes and behaviors can be traced back to an unwillingness to face the difficult emotions of our lives.
So, what are some ways you can “organize” your emotions? Here are a few tips:
1. Begin labeling your emotions – It’s hard to organize something if you don’t know how to name it. Practice identifying emotions as you feel them, even if it’s just to yourself.
2. Begin journaling your emotions – Write to God each evening about the day’s events, how they made you feel, how you want to feel, and how you need his help.
3. Begin sharing your emotions – Find a trusted friend or two who you can name your feelings with. Clarify if you’re just wanting a listening ear, or if you’re also seeking their input.
Over time, you’ll find that the work of getting in tune with your emotions and putting them in their proper place beats the convenience of stuffing your emotions but living in chaos.