This is a big topic and may take several days for me to totally walk it through. I hope you not only enjoy it, but are also challenged in your thinking.
I have often heard and was strongly taught that you cannot go by your emotions…You can not trust your emotions…push the emotions away because they will lead you down the wrong path. Well…there is some truth to that IF you ignore the emotions. Emotions can take on a life of their own, especially if they are pushed down and ignored. There is a delicate balance that needs to be achieved between logic and emotions if we want to lead healthy well adjusted lives. There are things that we need to accomplish if we are to reach a healthy balance between logic and emotions.
God created us to be relational beings. He created us to experience emotion. In fact, without our emotional side, we become stunted in our ability to have healthy relationships with each other and with God.
I began with these thoughts in order to introduce a thought that many people do not fully understand. We all want to get rid of bad emotion because it often interferes with our ability to function. How do we do that without pushing down and ignoring the emotions?
Emotion is there for a good reason. There is one truth that emotions will tell us. Emotions tell us when something is wrong in the same way that the pain of a broken arm tells us that something is wrong and we need to attend to it if we are to heal properly with full functionality.
When we push down our emotions and lock them away, they begin to fester inside of us. An unattended wound will fester and become infected. It is the same with emotion that is pushed down, locked away and ignored. At some point the puss will come to the surface and the (now bigger) mess will need to be taken care of. In fact, with emotions, eventually we may not be able to figure out where the emotional wound came from without the Holy Spirit’s help. If you do not take care of a wound at the source, the infection will keep coming back. I think you get the idea.
If we deal with emotion right away, we can live in peace in any environment. Dealing with emotion means that we need to turn and face the emotion and the event that the emotion resides in instead of running away from it. We need to own the emotion and acknowledge that we are feeling it and it is legitimate, instead of excusing the cause or source. If we do not acknowledge it and own it, we cannot get rid of it because you cannot give away what you do not own or acknowledge. To own it means to embrace it, at least until you can exchange it for truth.
The next thing we need to do is to find the original cause of the emotion like looking for a break or splinter depending on the strength of the emotion. In that place, acknowledge what you are believing about the cause of the emotion. Then invite Jesus into that pain. Ask him what He wants you to know about what you are believing. If you are not practiced in having close connection to Jesus, you may need to simply begin by talking to Him about what is happening. Listen to the Holy Spirit. He will give you the answers you need; setting you free. An emotion tends to stick to us when we believe something that is not true in the source memory . The Holy Spirit was sent to us to lead us into all truth. See my discussion on this topic in an earlier post. When you are approaching Christ, it is his Spirit that you are communicating with. If you go to Him, He will give you the truth that you need.
In a nutshell, this is how to deal with both current and past emotional baggage. I will expand on this in Part 2 of this discussion.