HONOURING MY FEELINGS- A CONFLICT TO MY CHRISTIAN FAITH ?

A lot of people will totally avoid the “feelings”talk,especially when it comes to Christians. But this is where I come in as a young single Christian woman, a mental & emotional health advocate navigating my walk with for God as well as navigating my emotional journey.

The problem is we turn to believe that Faith is an antonym for Feelings and thus we blindly diagnose our ourselves as having less faith or no faith at all when it comes to honoring the things we feel in our day to day lives as humans.

This is where many people get obstinate about the concept of Emotions, in other words Feelings as a much broader way to put it.

“ Feelings” is a pathway that begins somewhere and ends somewhere and without going through this journey , we don’t get to evaluate the results with clarity. We replace our needs
and liberty to feel with self judgment and condemnation. Feelings are God given and humane. Feelings are as a result of beautiful patterns wired up in our brains. They are the result of our environmental and internal stimulus. They are simply messages to us and what do we do with messages or informations? We analyze them before we act on them.

Honoring how we feel only shape our intelligence in handling emotions in the best way ever. In his book, Permission to feel, by Professor Marc Brasket, He carefully lays down the fundamental elements of EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE with a formula he calls the RULER FORMULA. In the Ruler formula, all emotions must be subjected to Recognition- ( What am I feeling? ), Understanding- ( Why am I feeling this way? ), Labelling – ( What is it that I am feeling, can I name it correctly? ) Expression – ( What’s the best and most healthy way to express my feelings) and lastly Regulation- (How do I manage this feeling in the most effective way for myself and others? )

So you see, the pathway of “feelings” is nothing but a beautiful one and if we don’t open ourselves to understand it in its entirety, we will spend our lives believing all the myths surrounding feelings, instead of regulating our feelings- which is the end goal of emotional intelligence, we rather will suppress our feelings and the human mind isn’t wired for suppression, it will be overwhelmed which in turn will generate disdain and fury outcomes.

For sometime now I have been battling with some anxieties. Whenever I receive a call from my father, I automatically anticipate the sharing of a “bad” news and so for that reason my fears become palpable. It’s been more than three months and I have been praying about it but still I felt what I was feeling, which in no way means Prayers don’t work. But with Prayers, somethings you add some level of cognitive work.

I have enrolled in a free online psychology class for a while now with the Yale open courses and I have been taking my lectures very seriously.
Yesterday, I was introduced to B. F Skinner’s theory on Behaviorism, of which he concluded that learning is a process of ‘conditioning’ in an environment of stimulus, in this case my feeling of anxiety has some roots deep rooted in a stimulus, which I knew consciously or not.

I sat down down and began to have a conversation with myself. I dug deep to find out where my anxieties were coming from.
Was it a horrible dream I had, was is the many tragic stories I have been hearing, was it the health care environment I found myself?

In the end, I figured somehow there was some light of truth shining through my questions and as I understood that these were just external stimulus, I resolved and purposed to consciously remind myself that nothing wrong was happening and therefore I shouldn’t anticipate it or participate in building a mental picture in my head.

Following my self therapeutic exercise yesterday, I have spoken to my dad twice and I have been calmer than before and that is what I call Faith. The belief that All is well and somehow I know the scripture too well, but I arrived at that through a psych pathway.

Science and Faith are not in competition but rather they are wired to work hand in hand to promote the best results and that is why I believe in the slogan “ Jesus & Therapy”.

Honoring our feelings isn’t a call to act on our feelings but rather go through a systematic path way to disintegrate every fiber of emotions until we are left with nothing expect refined resolves.

I want to invite you to embark on this week’s project for the adult Anonymous club which is dabbed “ Navigating through our feelings as adults”.

I am excited to announce that on Sunday we will have a heart to heart conversation with our guest Dr Paa Kofi Tinagyei on Emotional intelligence.

Honor your feelings Today.
Activate your Faith Today.

-Jo Nketiah

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