Feel your feelings…

A few days ago I texted a friend who I found out later was having a really rough day. I shared with her these two quotes that had stuck with me recently.

Suffering is a gap. Like a wedge. It’s the gap between the world you want and the world you got. (Quoted by Stephanie Ingram, found on instagram.)

Just because you’re sad doesn’t mean you’re not grateful and you’re not hopeful…Sadness and grief and mourning and lamenting and crying and screaming and being angry- these are ways we honor what was lost…Sadness is the soul’s way of saying “THIS MATTERED!” I think grieving and feeling all the emotions you feel…I think its a holy work. And its scary to go down those dark roads but those feelings don’t leave you. You have to feel it. You can’t fake the rest of your life like nothing bad happened and whistle a happy tune all day. That’s not what it is to be human…You don’t have to feel guilty about. being sad…I used to believe if I was sad, it meant I wasn’t fighting hard enough or I wasn’t grateful enough, and that’s not true. Be sad and be grateful. And look at the twinkly lights and feel your feelings. It’s all real. The joy and the pain are all real and you don’t have to pick one or the other; life is beautiful or life is garbage. It’s kinda both sometimes. ~Nightbirde

I wonder why as people of faith we often think that grieving, sadness, and anger are not ok, when it’s part of our human experience. I have spent a year learning to feel my feelings- all the ones I wasn’t willing to acknowledge and let my gut feel instead. I’ve learned that it’s healthy to grieve when we have lost something or someone we love. It is healthy to cry, and to even acknowledge our anger. Those things are not incompatible with faith. I used to think it was unrighteous to yell at God, and then I did it. But I think He could handle it. I was telling him exactly how I felt and He listened to me. And then he helped me find my way through the anger to a more soothing place. I thought I shouldn’t feel so much fear because I was a woman of faith so I tried to push is down and ignore it…and yet it took me a long time to realize that God is the one who can help me overcome fear so acknowledging the fear is a big part of moving past it and overcoming it. I think we sometimes think God expects us to be more than human- and he does…eventually. But today I am VERY human- and I’m pretty darn sure that He knows that, and that all He expects of me is one small step today. And even if I trip doing that, or get stuck, or fall, or paralyzed or any number of things, He’ll still help me with the next part. And the next. He loves me no matter what, and is so merciful and compassionate- way more than I can possibly understand. His love is never-ending for me…and you.




Emerge: The Story


(Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash)

Mmm- I just love this photo.  It visually describes everything about my newly posted piece, Emerge.

Right now my life seems pretty easy.  Rewind a few years and my life was much different:  it was a time when I had 3 adorable little people that needed a lot of me (physically and otherwise), I was dealing with major health issues, I was tired all the time, and I was also dealing with pretty intense anxiety on a daily basis (partially because I had a child who was struggling).  It wasn’t that my life was horrible- I love being a mom, my husband is an amazing support, and I still say that we soaked up as much joy from that stage as possible; but compared to everything else I’d experienced in life, this was by far the hardest and lasted the longest.

I joked during that time that I felt like I was 30 going on 50 (maybe I’ll change my tune when I experience 50!) and I wondered if I would ever feel back to “normal”- whatever that meant.  The anxiety was particularly troubling to me- it felt as though my thoughts and emotions were often so much heavier and darker than I wanted them to be, but at the time I really didn’t know how to do change that.  I longed for more peace which had seemed much more accessible before.

I prayed to be rescued from the dense fog I found myself stuck in.  Though Heavenly Father didn’t send immediate all-in-one solutions like I wanted Him to, He did send help- gradually.  He sent bite-sized pieces so not only could I be cured, but I could grow through the process of healing.  I look back and see how he placed people, books, and other things in my path so that a step at a time, I learned how to deal with the anxiety in constructive ways.  I also had moments of feeling overwhelming love, peace or contentment; a sense that Heavenly Father was aware of my needs, and would continue to guide and help me.  The kids grew and became a little more independent and my health improved over several months (partly because the baby started sleeping through the night-hallelujah!)- I held on to faith and hope before, but now I could actually see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It was during this time that I began to experiment with writing music-not as a creative outlet, but as an emotional outlet.  I started playing around on the piano, attempting to express the way I felt through the music.  What could I “say”?  This was the result of that exploration.  Hind-sight is a funny thing: though I’d never sign up for a repeat course through the fog, I also wouldn’t trade what I learned from it for anything.  So without any more words, here is “Emerge”!