Physically representing emotions that we carry from our earliest childhood can be helpful. For example, we could choose an object to illustrate our struggles or draw our early emotional dynamics. Then we are able to see our inner landscape.
By receiving our emotions, by re-feeling the feeling, we better understand what has created our own unique emotional landscape. We often think our feelings come from someone or something ‘out there’, but those situations are simply mirroring back to us what is going on inside.
It is important to remember that our feelings have a task to do – but so often their job goes undone. If our emotions make us feel uncomfortable, we often look for distractions, hoping to neutralize what we’re feeling inside. Sadly, it is usually when the ‘wheels come off’ that we stop to take notice of our inner life.
Jesus knows everything we go through and how we feel. He invites us to stop and look at the scenery! He asks us why we do certain things and why we say what we do. He wants us to see where we’re needing healing, why in some places we’re so reactive and where we’re overly compliant. He wants us to come home to our true selves, to lovingly look at the different painful parts, and to let our feelings do their relationally transformative work. We have a choice in this: we can participate with Jesus to loosen every area that is stuck.