Learning how to steward our emotions and passions is one of the most efficient ways to be more successful in everything we do.
There are so many creative ways that my coaching clients have tried to manage their emotional responses to life. Unfortunately, many of these are not helpful, and are working against their emotional health.
Some of the ways people work against their own emotional health is by trying to deny, control, or numb their feelings. So often people are in a battle of denying how they feel about something and performing to the cultural expectations around them. This usually results in a perpetual loop of performing more, and working harder, in order to get rid of the unwanted feelings. Denial never works, because you can’t get freedom from something you won’t admit you have. I have also observed my clients trying to control their emotions by telling themselves they shouldn’t feel that way, or that something is wrong with them because they do. Some even resort to guilt or punishment for themselves or others when those feelings occur. I have never found the use of guilt and punishment to result in emotional or relational health. The attempt to numb emotions tends to be one of the more physically destructive patterns. This will involve some form of unhealthy stimulus or behavior. The problem with this is that when the numbing agent wears off the emotional issues are still there, and now there are additional emotional, relational, or physical issues that need to be resolved.
I believe one of the reasons why so many people are unsuccessfully managing their emotional health in these ways is due to a misunderstanding about emotions in the first place. Our feelings are just like any other tool we use to be successful in life. If we can know what our emotions were intended to do for us, and understand what they are actually doing for us, we can steward them for our benefit. They would be like any other instrument we use, and we would no longer need to try to deny, control, or numb them. Being able to manage your emotions, in a healthy way, will transform your life.
We have all heard the warnings:
“You can’t live by your feelings.”
“You need to control your emotions.”
“Don’t show your emotions.”
“Your heart is deceitful.”
“Your emotions are not trustworthy.”
“Your heart is wicked.”
“Your heart is deceived.”
“You can’t trust your heart.”
The distrust and disregard for emotions is pervasive. You may have heard warnings similar to these, or even expressed them yourself. This is the common foundational understanding I find with most of my coaching clients, regardless of their religious upbringing.
What I would like to do now is challenge your thinking about your feelings.
What if your feelings are not lying to you?
What if you could actually trust your feelings?
Think about that for a minute. Just imagine if you could use the information you were getting from your emotions efficiently and effectively to help you be successful. Would that be helpful to you?
Now, if you think this is getting a little too touchy/feely, please just hold on a little bit further. I am getting to a point, and it will all make sense.
I want to challenge the common teaching about emotions and let you know that your feelings are never lying to you. Your feelings are always telling you exactly what you are feeling.
It’s the thoughts you are having about those feelings that you can’t always trust.
The Lord doesn’t tell us to capture every feeling and make it obedient to Christ. He tells us to capture every thought.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:5
Our emotions are just like the instrument panel in a vehicle. Those instruments are telling us exactly what is going on underneath our own hood. They are not telling us what is going on underneath someone else’s hood, or what is going on around us. When we are experiencing the emotions of fear, shame, or guilt, it is a direct result of our thoughts and beliefs. If we can be honest with ourselves about what we are feeling, we can find out what we are thinking that is producing those feelings.
When we use our emotions to tell us things they were never designed to tell us, or we confuse our thoughts for emotions, and emotions for thoughts, it will inevitably go wrong in some way. I believe these misunderstandings are the key reasons why people think they cannot trust their emotions.
One of the simple tools I have developed to help equip people to steward their emotions is the 3 Steps to Life.
Here is an overview of these steps:
STEP ONE – INTENTIONALLY STAY PRESENT
Step One is to intentionally stay present, mentally and emotionally. What I mean by this is to stay connected and present with yourself and your situation.
STEP TWO – CHOOSE REALITY
Step Two is to choose reality. What I mean by this is to let yourself actually think your thoughts and feel your feelings.
STEP THREE – CONNECT WITH GOD
Step Three is to connect with God. What I mean by this is to align yourself with the reality that God is already with you.
When you are able to experience the presence of God right in your thoughts and feelings, you can discover what is actually happening, as well as what you believe is happening. This will help you have a better understanding of your situation, be free to think and feel, and be able to make decisions from a healthy place so you can resolve the issue. From there, you can repent, forgive, and be free to choose truth and experience the kingdom in your situation. This whole process is explained in detail in my book, Identity Restoration. In it you will find practical and sustainable tools to help you recover from any issues of fear, shame, or blame in your life, and be restored into freedom, peace, and joy, in real time and real situations.
It is possible to freely experience your emotions and be able to steward your thoughts and feelings. This freedom will bring peace and joy into your relationships, career, and experiences of life.
Freedom, peace, and joy are our guaranteed inheritance in Christ. We can trust our emotions to help us get the information that is stealing our freedom, peace, and joy. If we respect and use our emotions for what they were designed for, we can experience emotional health and be successful in life.
Freedom is available, and it is always better.
Join Ray as he delves deeper into discovering your Identity by joining us at Heaven In Business Online: HeavenInBusiness.com/Online
Identity. It’s what drives every decision we make. Ray is an Identity Coach who has specialized in this field for over 15 years. His desire is to see people released into the fullness of their identity, and allow that transformation to impact every area of their life.
He has had the honor to work with CEOs, celebrities, local church leaders, and everyday people from almost every country around the world; teaching them how to know, believe and live the truth of who they are.
Along with one-on-one coaching, he has developed resources to help you easily implement practical and sustainable tools into your everyday life, so that you can live a lifestyle of freedom. As well as being an Identity Coach, Ray is a devoted father, husband, author and speaker.
FMI visit FaithByGrace.org