They can be, please don’t take that the wrong way. I’m a big believer in that ‘Instinctive 6th sense’ that God built into women. Often, a mother ‘just knows’ when something is not quite right in regards to her child. She will have no ‘Facts’ to back up what she’s ‘Feeling’ or sensing, however, she is often on target.
In the late 80’s I was asked to be the speaker at a meeting. I titled it: ‘Feelings are not Facts’ and began my ‘talk’ with a little humor as speakers often do to help break the ice. In order to warm things up a bit, I told them the title of my little speech and used an example. I said that as I was standing there before all of them, I ‘felt’ as if they were all about to throw tomatoes at me. I joked a bit about how I knew, for a ‘fact’, that they were not going to do so…at least I thought they wouldn’t…nevertheless, I did ‘feel’ as if they were about to do so. That intro into my speech put both myself and the audience at ease.
Feelings and emotions are God-given. One of the topics in my book is titled: ‘God is a very emotional God’. It’s a brief synopsis of Scriptures that reveal some of the examples of when God clearly shows His emotions. There are some churches that are extremely emotional and base perhaps too much emphasis on emotional experiences that are not always supportable by Scripture. On the other end of the spectrum, there are churches that stick with the letter of the law of God’s Word placing Him in a box. Neither extreme is healthy spiritually. Temperance in all things applies to emotions, as well.
When we are overcome with grief, our emotions are all over the board…and understandably so. We have been traumatized. Our wounds cut deeper than a surgeon’s scalpel. They are undefinable. Time does help in this portion of our grieving. Our deep pain won’t magically disappear while we are still separated physically from our children, but except for those blind-siding moments, we do eventually steady the course a bit. The one thing that happens to many of us is that we seek to avoid the pain…a perfectly natural reaction. Who in their right mind continues to willingly hold their hand over a hot burner on a stove? However, in our feeble attempts of avoidance, we can sometimes make matters worse for ourselves.
Some gals build websites and become enmeshed in the pain of others in order to avoid facing their own grief. Some, like myself, bury themselves in work as only a good little workaholic knows how to do. Others turn to doctors and are prescribed anti-depressants in order to ‘block’ their feeling centers in their brains. Still others, who are financially able to do so, will embark on numerous travels to distract themselves from the harsh reality of grief all together. Creative escapism can become the norm.
However, avoidance of reality no matter how painful may only interrupt and/or delay the grieving process. We can only attempt to run away from it for so long before it eventually catches up with us. If we are fully aware of our path of escape and knowingly choose it for a limited time in order to allow ourselves to gently process things at a slower pace, such things can be beneficial. The problem is that we sometimes get ‘hooked’ on such, and even delude ourselves at some point into thinking we’ve got this ‘grief thing’ licked. I’m sure if anyone in the history of mankind had truly discovered the mastery of grief, they’d have been granted the Nobel Peace Prize by now.
I recently have come through a period of extreme vertigo brought on by an abundance of stress in my life. In the moments in which I felt as if my brain had been thrown into a blender, I ‘felt’ as if I was going to ‘spin’ right off of my bed. I clutched onto my mattress with all of my strength, even grabbing hold of the bedside table with all the strength I could muster. The only cure for this vertigo was for two strong women to restrain me as they turned my head 1st to the left, then to the right…holding me securely in place as I endured the out of control spinning, sometimes screaming my head off in the process. Obviously, these ‘Feelings’ were not ‘Facts’. But no one could have convinced me otherwise as I was experiencing them. I am not suggesting that we need to hold our hand over a hot burner on a stove. However, we do need to ’embrace the pain’ as I have stated in my book. We cannot avoid it indefinitely without shutting down emotionally and hardening our hearts to the point where our love waxes cold. If we are afraid to feel grief, we will be afraid to feel love…or anything for that matter. Because many of us do suffer from PTSD, the doctors are quick to medicate. They may mean well, and it may help for a brief time when feelings are so overwhelming that we simply cannot function. However, we do need to be conscientious about such things. The meds are only treating the symptoms, they are not curing the ‘disease’ called: Grief.
We all handle our grieving process, and all the different variables that are individualized, in our own way. There is no right nor wrong in our process. However, there is healthy or unhealthy avenues to take. I think it’s important to be mindful of the fact that feelings are not always facts. We may feel as if we will never smile again, never laugh again, never enjoy life again. We may feel guilty if we suddenly hear ourselves laugh again as if we are somehow dishonoring our child. Those feelings are very real, however, they are not facts. As is so often stated, there is no way around grief. The only way to work through our grief is to go through it. Personally, I have found that delving into God’s Word, believing what He says about eternity, and laying hold of His promises of Hope are the only sure fire ways to endure this hellish journey. It’s how Jesus the Christ endured His suffering and crucifixion. I believe He set before us the best example to follow.
Hebrews 12:2The Voice (VOICE)
[We may feel alone, but we aren’t. We are surrounded by an army of witnesses. They have run the race of faith and finished well. It is now our turn.]
2 Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him; and now He is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/2017/03/the-pain-of-holidays-after-the-loss-of-loved-ones/
Please help spread the word…TY!!! (((HUGS)))
Book Released 2/15/17