Dear Logos Family,
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps 139:23-24
At Presbytery last weekend Barbara Feil (pronounced File), a licensed counselor from Sunset Presbyterian Church in Portland, spoke to the pastors and elders for three one-hour sessions. Her topic was “Crisis and the Pandemic.”
One of her main points was learning to be a “non-anxious” presence as we listen to people express their emotions. She shared the following acrostic with us:
R ecognizing emotions in self and others.
U nderstanding the cause and consequences of emotions
L abeling emotions accurately
E xpressing emotions appropriately
R egulating emotions effectively
Culturally, we have come to believe that we need to bury our emotions. The problem is our emotions don’t go away. They are buried until something causes them to come to the surface and take over.
During this long pandemic we have all had many emotions that we’ve had to deal with….lonliness, depression, anxiety, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion etc. Quite often people have not had anyone to process these emotions with. And when you bury your emotions they often turn to depression and lead to a sense of hopelessness.
I would like to encourage you to find another person to share your feelings with. Barbara said, “It’s OK NOT to be OK.” This has been a very difficulty season. It’s ok to feel discouraged or sad.
Then again, now that most people have been vaccinated and things are “opening up,” you may feel a resurgence of joy and hope! Those are emotions too and can be shared with others.
I am available to meet in person or on the phone if you want to talk. Talking is critical for processing your emotions. I usually feel better when I’ve had a chance to “get things off my chest.”
Blessings to you in Christ,