I have always had an awkward relationship with my emotions. Tender feelings only escape me via the written word, and I fear that I never quite get them right, even then. Darker feelings– any wrestling, really, with the world’s cursed realities– I try to put to bed quickly. Run away from the canyon’s edge and you won’t fall in.
That sentiment nonsense is messy, and I hate messes. Especially if they involve crying. I prefer to stew about the problem for a while, talk through it with great animation and volume, and then Move Right Along. Even as a kid I lived a great deal of my life in books, happy to experience other people’s stories but uncertain about what I myself felt.
This is not a good way to live, I found out late last year, because emotions are human. They are a gift, a sharp reflection of God that we get to carry with us. Squashing mine for decades on behalf of convenience and pride was fairly unhealthy. So I stopped squashing. I started to let myself feel, and let myself be an absolute wreck, and often I have hated it– but it has been a holy thing because I have invited the Lord in, to the weakness and fears of my heart, the places that I don’t want to go and certainly never wanted to open up for visitors.