Examine Your Feelings Regularly

Examine Your Feelings
So, yesterday’s assignment was just the beginning of making sense of your feelings. If you have journaled every day and followed the assignments, YAY YOU! You know what’s next? Don’t stop. Keep the practice of journaling going. Use journaling to examine your feelings whenever you need to.
Just a warning, if you are a number one on the enneagram, in other words, a perfectionist, you may get two days in and miss a day and then quit because you can’t journal perfectly. This isn’t about perfection. It’s about progress. (Kristin’s mantra for 2020 which I borrow often).
You don’t have to journal every day. Maybe put your journal somewhere you can see it and then use it for emotional emergencies or just some fun exercises. Not sure what do next and you want to keep journaling?
Check out this article – “Self-Care Journaling Prompts for each Enneagram Type.”
Next week, we’ll delve into using journaling to plan your goals/vision! You don’t have to do this on New Year’s Eve. Anytime is a good time to plan a new goal.

Confront Your Feelings

Confront Your Feelings
You may think we did this yesterday, not quite. We owned our feelings. Consider this example – I own a car. I say, “I own that midnight blue Rav4.” Confronting my car is like saying, I own it and it seems low on gas, what am I going to do about that? Maybe you did the assignment yesterday and it was overwhelming. Maybe you finally own that you are anxious, angry, or depressed, now what? Now we confront those feelings. Confronting our feelings means we are the boss of them. We don’t have to be ruled by them just because we acknowledge them. We don’t have to let them lead us into sin or moral decay. Just because we realize we are angry with our spouse doesn’t necessarily mean we need to get a divorce (I’m not talking about abusive situations here, that’s different). Consider this excerpt from “5 Ways to Win Spiritual Battles in Your Emotions”:

“Satan often attacks Christians through our emotions. We can be thinking with correct beliefs, yet still fall victim to evil through feelings that tempt us to sin: lust, anger, fear, jealousy, discouragement, etc. Sometimes we discount the importance of paying attention to our emotions day by day, thinking that the right convictions should be enough to strengthen us against evil. Yet, when attacks come into our lives, they often enter by way of our emotions.”

– crosswalk.com

Before you think I have changed my mind about acknowledging, feeling, and owning our emotions, remember if we stuff our emotions, it can have a negative impact on our health. Those three steps of acknowledging, feeling, and owing are important in spiritual warfare. You can confront your emotions by looking up and copying scriptures about them. Yep. We need the word to win the war over acting on our negative emotions. Your assignment today is to write down one negative emotion you feel on a regular basis. Then using a concordance, look up a verse on that emotion/feeling. Copy it down. Read it to yourself when you are struggling with confronting your emotions. Here’s an example:
I feel anxious a lot.
After the feeling, write down a scripture to combat it, such as:

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 4: 6-7

Own Your Feelings

Own Your Feelings
You knew it was coming right? We can’t just write down our feelings and let them get the best of us -especially if those feelings are anxious, oppressing, or depressing. Even if the feelings are joyful, we need to own them. Maybe you grew up in a home where you weren’t allowed to express feelings. Maybe you feel as if you don’t deserve to own feelings, as if they are unholy or ungodly. If you didn’t already, check out episode 123 of The Whole House Podcast – “Having a Healthy Relationship Yourself When You are in a Codependent Relationship.” I think it is common in Christian circles for us to believe we should stuff our feelings. I used to believe that my feelings didn’t matter. If you struggle with owning your feelings, take a look at the Psalms. In “What the Psalms Do” on Desiring God, Tony says:

“One of the reasons the Psalms are deeply loved by so many Christians is that they give expression to an amazing array of emotions. Listen to this list of emotions I pulled together:”

I pulled a few from his list:
Loneliness: “I am lonely and afflicted” (Psalms 25:16).
Sorrow: “My life is spent with sorrow” (Psalms 31:10)
Shame: “Shame has covered my face” (Psalms 44:15)
Desire: “O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted”
Brokenheartedness: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalms 34:18).
You can find the whole list here.
Today your assignment is to own your feelings by going through the list and writing down what they are. Be specific and feel free to go the extra mile and copy down a scripture or two from the list!

Write Down Your Feelings!

I feel…

Today give yourself permission to write out your feelings whatever they are. Don’t be afraid to put them on paper. Here’s why:



“Symptoms like anxiety and depression, which are on the rise in the U.S., can stem from the way we deal with these underlying, automatic, hard-wired survival emotions, which are biological forces that should not be ignored. When the mind thwarts the flow of emotions because they are too overwhelming or too conflicting, it puts stress on the mind and the body, creating psychological distress and symptoms. Emotional stress, like that from blocked emotions, has not only been linked to mental ills, but also to physical problems like heart disease, intestinal problems, headaches, insomnia and autoimmune disorders.” –time.com

Yikes! How many of us women have or do suffer from depression and anxiety? (Raising my hand here). How many of us women give ourselves permission to feel our feelings? Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying we should go around acting on whatever we are feeling, I’m saying we should acknowledge our feelings. Don’t “thwart the flow of emotions because they are overwhelming”, it can lead down a path of unhealthy living. So for today, we’re going to write down our feelings. Just let them pour out of your hand onto the page. Tomorrow, we’ll work on owning our feelings.
Trigger warning: if you have never let yourself acknowledge your feelings, this exercise may be overwhelming. Find a trusted friend (or your spouse) to pray with you before, during, or after you write in your journal.

Making Sense of Your Feelings Through Journaling

This week we are going to focus on using journaling to sort out of feelings. Gone are the days of keeping a diary where we write down the day’s events with a healthy dose of our feelings on the events. As women, we often bury our feelings for the sake of getting what we need to be accomplished. It doesn’t matter if we are tired, hungry, or anxious, we just do it. Been there. Lived there. And that’s okay. We have to set aside our own interests for those of our family. It’s what we do. Except for the fact that burying our feelings for too long can affect our health.
“When we do acknowledge them, we swat them away with mantras learned since childhood. (“Mind over matter,” “get a grip” and “suck it up” are familiar ones.) Thwarting emotions is not good for mental or physical health. It’s like pressing on the gas and brakes of your car at the same time, creating an internal pressure cooker.” – time.com
In order to be healthy mentally, physically and, emotionally, we must find a middle ground. We must learn how to do the things well and still acknowledge our feelings without letting them rule us.
Here’s your assignment for today – write down how you felt in the most hectic moment of your day – was it frustrated? Angry? Hurried? Happy? Prayerful? Be honest. Don’t hold back. Focus more on recording what was going on at the time. We’ll work more on making exactly what you were feeling tomorrow.