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2013_09_29 BC Emotional

Disclaimer: The emotions spoken of here are not intended to encompass mental illnesses. As a former suffer of bipolar disorder please know that I would NEVER in anyway attempt to negate or belittle the very real things that you may be going through. Despite the hours of study and years of visits, I am NOT a mental health professional. This post is intended only to be an introduction to basic emotional accountability. If you are suffering beyond what is being discussed here, I urge you to reach out and speak to a professional and, if you cannot find one of your Faith, speak to a clergyman as well. If you are having an emotional emergency or having suicidal thoughts and are in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also visit their website here.

The danger of emotional bonds

Of all the bonds we have talked about thus far, and of those we haven’t, emotional bonds have the potential the bind the tightest and do the most destruction. Their effects pour out into the other areas we have discussed along with every other area of our lives. They are the weights that keep us from soaring to new height. Yet they are the chain that many of us have become the most complacent with.

These emotions range from anger to depression and cover everything in between. Often they are buried so deep that the intensity of them is not even known to the one who has them. They sit buried, corroding away from the inside out, while we attempt to go on living everyday life as if nothing is wrong.  They are often ignored or treated as if they are not real, partly because we simply don’t have to the time to deal with them, or the energy for that matter. They are real though and they carry with them real consequences when they aren’t dealt with. Your health, relationships, and Faith can all suffer as a result of these emotional bonds.

How to break apart these emotional bonds

1. Get help. The deeper the bonds run and the more entangled they are with the rest of life, the more we need someone to stand with us as we tear them apart. This can be a trusted and compassionate friend, a counselor, or clergy, just to name a few options. The deeper the bond, however, the more likely it is that you will want to seek guidance from a professional. There are many programs and services that work based on income that could leave you with little to no out of pocket expense. They are typically managed at a local level, so check your county resources.

2. Confront the things that offend you. I said confront the things…not the people! Very often the things that we find offensive, hurtful, and/or insensitive can alert us to where our emotional weak spots, and even our insecurities, lie.  If someone says or does something that offends you in some way, take the time to ask yourself why that bothered you. Is it something that you’ve thought yourself? Do you have guilt or feelings of inadequacy tied up in that subject? Study out what you believe in that area and get certain about where you stand. Find Bible verses to stand on. I have found over the years that when I am sure that I’m right, I’m far less sensitive when people think I’m wrong.

3. Journal. Writing your thoughts out is a great way to get them expressed in a safe way. Journals can be done in a variety of different ways using prose, poetry, art, crafts, and a variety of other mediums. I have even known a few people who journal in code. There can even be an added cathartic kinetic release to journaling in some cases. I have taken certain emotions and written them out by hand on paper and then torn them up into tiny pieces or burned them in a safe place outside to watch the ashes blow away in the wind. The uses of journaling are limitless.

4. Be honest. Somewhere along the course of history society as a whole stopped being genuine about how we feel. People began “putting a brave face” and “sucking it up”. They became less interested in getting a truthful answer when asking how someone is doing and more interested in getting the answer that they want to hear, the one that will require nothing of them. Through this, we have basically learned to lie about our emotions. There is no healing in a lie. While it is not prudent to be open with everyone about the way you feel, it is time to stop lying. A simple “Thank you for asking” or “It’s personal” can go a long way. Most importantly though, be honest with yourself and with God, because it is between you and Him that the true healing will take place.

5. Forgive. The ability to forgive can release a multitude of troubles form the soul. As long as you are walking in unforgiveness that person still has a hold on you. They still have power in your life. Forgiving them releases you to move on with your life, to learn and grow from the experience. Sometimes the person you need to forgive is yourself. While this is not always the easiest thing to do, it is crucial. Often we continue to punish ourselves for things that God has long since released us from. Other times the hardest part about forgiving is admitting that you are angry with the person to begin with, such as your children or even God. But that anger, resentment, hurt, pain, and blame is real and until it is dealt with it will continue to eat away at those relationships and you.

Look deeper into the patterns in your life and those things that rub you the wrong way and the emotional bonds will begin to reveal themselves. Be proactive about freeing yourself form them and enlist the help of others whenever needed. Being single does not mean that you must go it all alone. I know it may not always be easy, but a support system of some kind is vital. Reach out until you fell like you can’t reach out any more, and then reach out again. The exercise in vulnerability alone will be a healing and strengthening process.

I pray you courage and strength beloved. May the Shalom of Mashiach {Peace of Christ} dwell richly and rule absolutely in your heart {Col. 3:15}.~

Surrendered to Him~

How do you break emotional bonds? Share your story in the comments.

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