Monday, January 18, 2016

I'm Emotionally Constipated

I don't know who coined the term emotionally constipated, but it's great and it fits me and maybe you too. The symptoms are the inability to express emotions that are appropriate at the time. You are happy when you shouldn't be, more often you are angry for no reason. You are irritated or complacent or just emotionally absent much of the time. Sound like you? Sounds like me too.

The root of my emotional constipation has been diagnosed. I don't let myself feel negative emotions. Pain and loss and grief are all bottled up inside, crammed down and tucked away. Why? Well it's really quite simple, I have bought into the lie that as a Christian I must be happy and ok all the time. I quote the "I have been content" and "I can do all things" verses, telling people my joy is in the Lord. Those things are true, but it doesn't mean we don't get sad or upset or tired and grieve. Jesus wept and cried out and got upset and irritated. Jesus felt things and He was open about feeling things. He wept in front of friends, He took time to himself, He spoke and shared and was open about things.

I have to learn to grieve. I don't grieve. I didn't grieve my parent's death, my friends death, my grandparents death. I had my dream die (or brutally murdered) a few years back, I kept a stiff upper lip. I stayed strong, I crammed my feelings deep down and now I'm emotionally constipated. I was once so full of despair that I had to get relief that I listened to a haunting song over and over until I finally broke down and wept. I cried on my wife for a while, she still has no idea what that was all about. I had to get some emotions out.

So now I'm learning about grieving. It's not easy when you haven't done it for the majority of your life. I'm not sure what it's suppose to look like or sound like or feel like. I don't know how to get the lid off the bottle and actually feel.  It's a long and slow process and I'm asking others to help me.  Are you emotionally constipated? Maybe it's time to get some relief and get some emotions moving again.

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