The child spontaneously expresses emotions; the pharisee carefully represses them. The question is not whether I am an introvert or an extrovert, a sanguine or a subdued personality. The issue is whether I express or repress my genuine feelings.
To open yourself to another person, to stop lying about your loneliness and your fears, to be honest about your affections, and to tell others how much they mean to you—this openness is the triumph of the child over the pharisee and a sign of the dynamic presence of the Holy Spirit. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
To ignore, repress, or dismiss our feelings is to fail to listen to the stirrings of the Spirit within our emotional life.
Brennan Manning — Abba’s Child (p. 88)
I spent most of my life repressing my genuine feelings. I assumed they were “bad” or “wrong” or at the very least they couldn’t be trusted. Because I felt I couldn’t trust my feelings, I learned to live inside my head and dismiss my heart. Unfortunately, I built a wall around one of the most authentic parts of myself.
It has been a long and arduous journey to recognize, accept, and name the feelings I am experiencing in the moment. Thankfully, I have learned to second-guess myself less, and to spontaneously express my feelings as a child would more often. This has led to more meaningful encounters and deeper relationships.
If you have spent most of your life ignoring, repressing, or dismissing your feelings like I have, give yourself a break and know there’s a different way to live. You won’t get swept away by your emotions, I promise.
Have a blessed day.
Peace and Love,