Sowfull of Emotions
Updated: Sep 3, 2020
Message from the bubbly chick,
It took the passing of Chadwick Boseman for me to realize something about myself. I’m known by most to always be bubbly and optimistic. People say I “find the silver lining in everything” and am “always happy.” I love that people see me in this light but sometimes such an image brings weight.
Because I’m anticipated to be happy, people are taken aback when I express anything other than that. I often feel I have to keep a smile and be encouraging even when I’m upset or frustrated. I don’t feel freedom to be angry or hurt.
After Chadwick passed, I was forced to acknowledge just how burdensome and debilitating this is.
There’s only a handful of celebrities I’d mourn over as if I knew them personally and Chadwick is one of them. However, I found that once he passed, I wouldn’t allow myself to freely feel the hurt and sadness. I was uncomfortable, frustrated and conflicted about the “negative emotions” I was experiencing. It was in that moment I realized I’m great at verbalizing when I disagree, confronting wrongs, addressing issues and talking through what I feel BUT I condemn myself the whole time I do it. I beat myself up for having such emotions until they pass. I never fully embrace anger, hurt or frustration without guilt. This is counterproductive and only prolongs the healing process.
I have grace for others to feel what they feel but I don’t extend that same grace to myself. I think it stems from thinking I’ll let people down by not being the expected “happy one” or I’ll be judged. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s experienced believers (especially on social media) condemning any expressions other than joy, peace, hope and love.
I shared all of this to say, God gave us emotions for a reason - good and bad. Feel them all. Reflect on them all. Process them all with Him. Learn what they’re informing you of. Just don’t let them guide your life - that’s the Lord’s job. You’re not wrong or “unsaved” for experiencing what is deemed as “negative emotions.” You’re human.
No one is going to be happy all of the time. There will be times of anger, times of hurt, times of pain, times of frustration...and that is okay. Allow those emotions to draw you closer to God, not cause self-condemnation. You were created to feel, so feel.
“There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance;”
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 HCSB