How to Get Out of an Emotional Rut
Well hey there from Eureka, CA! Yep... I listened to my heart yesterday and I ended up getting in the car at about 2pm to head to the coast. I have honestly been LONGING to see the ocean for about a month now, and yesterday I just went for it. I wasn't sure how long I would stay or what I would do when I got there but the cry of my heart was to adventure and to see the ocean so I did it. (Cheesy selfie below is proof.)
Did it all go smoothly? NOPE! I got pulled over by a cop for speeding while I was driving through the mountains (I wasn't looking and I let it slip while I was going downhill and he got me!), I got there an hour later than I thought I would, the first two trails I tried didn't take me to the ocean like I wanted them to and when I finally did find the ocean I had to go to the bathroom pretty intensely so I didn't get to stay long. Haha! But I did see the ocean and I felt so FREE! Sometimes it can feel selfish just stepping out and doing what feeds your soul - giving your heart exactly what it's asking for... If you've played around with it at all, you know what I mean. Most of the time there is a voice inside you (they call it your Inner Critic) that is chiding you for being so childish and self-centered. What if we redefined child-ISH as child like? What if our ability to just let ourselves flow and be free in life is actually the quality of living a life of real FAITH and TRUST?
Case in point. As I drove through those mountains with just me and God, I mysteriously started weeping. What was that?! Apparently, my heart needed some space and time to unwind and express some things to God that I'd been holding back from Him and even from myself. I needed solitude. I needed a new perspective. I needed new surroundings to get outside of the rut in my head and really hear my heart. The adult part of me didn't know that, but the child in me did. I didn't get any downloads of revelation or any huge answers to the problems I was throwing at God in the midst of my tears. But I expressed my emotions and He met me with Comfort. I just breathed through it and let it be what it was.
The old Me would have analyzed every emotion - trying to figure out WHY I was feeling that way, so I could control it and stop it. Because the pain or the sadness or the whatever I was feeling felt so overwhelming that I just wanted it to go away. If you're a creative, you can probably relate. We tend to have very strong emotions and most of us try to shove them down instead of using them for what they are meant for... expression! As you may be able to tell already, a lot of what I'm going to talk about is emotional health and accepting yourself. It's only when you are in a state of "flow" and acceptance that you can move forward and actually live the life you dream of! Judging, analyzing, stuffing and trying to change yourself can only keep you stuck in the same patterns - because you are focusing on the very thing you want to be different. By focusing on it, you just keep reproducing what you don't want.
What if it's time to flip the script and just start laughing at the things about yourself that you think are broken? What if we could just hand them to a BIG God and ask Him to help us with them and then move on? I have a LONG list of places that I want to grow, but slowly I'm learning to BURN MY LIST and just live.
God has had me going back through my old journals recently - and when I say it's Him, trust me. I wouldn't be doing this if He wasn't insisting. Because honestly, it's pretty tough looking back at who I was a couple of years ago. How confused and tormented... and how I'm still working on changing some of the things I was working on back then.
This morning I had the funniest moment, though. I was reading an old journal again and found an entry where I was trying to FIX the same old problem for the millionth time. And I just started laughing. I laughed so hard I almost rolled on the floor. It finally got through to me... this is LUDICROUS! I can't change me and honestly, I don't need to. The things I'm straining and striving at are just an attempt to be perfect because I think I need to do that to get love. Or at least I did. But if reading these journals has taught me anything so far it's that I don't change ANYTHING by focusing on it and trying hard. I just keep circling around the problem.
What I'm finally starting to do that is bringing real transformation into my life, is LETTING GO of being the one doing the transforming and giving the job back to God. The One it really belongs to. So, join me, will ya? BURN YOUR LIST and realize you are perfect and Loved right now by a God who knows everything about you.
BURN YOUR LIST AND JUST LIVE!
I'm gonna keep this super simple today. Just be really aware of the places you are "shoulding" yourself (boxing yourself in with a list of SHOULDS) and stop it. Ask yourself what it would look like if you did what you WANTED to do instead of what you think you SHOULD. I know it feels scary and irresponsible, but I promise you'll find that if you give your heart some room to play it will eventually WANT to do the adulty-type things that technically need to get done in this life.
Start experimenting with this in little ways and keep going until you are doing it in bigger ways. At least, that's what I'm doing. Love you guys!