There seems to be a rumor going around that it’s not okay to be not okay. That it’s not okay to need help, to feel to the extreme, or even to not know what to do.
Somewhere along the line we have believed that in order to be worth the approval and envy of our peers that we must have it 100% together 100% percent of the time. Which is really just impossible. And bogus, it’s also totally bogus.
Whether we pretend to have it all together or not, the truth of the matter is that we all are battling through some things. We all have areas that hurt or issues we don’t fully understand. Unfortunately, instead of vocalizing our need for help and understanding, we hide it. We tuck parts of ourselves away so no one can see our “weaknesses”. We think that by doing so we are protecting ourselves from judgment or speculation… In reality we are merely trying to cut out all the areas where we feel “too much”. We continue to chop ourselves into little pieces and then later wonder why we feel so dead inside.
There are a few truths we all need to understand about this life:
1) We were created by God with emotions and feelings. God did not make us robots that never feel anything. And despite my occasional wishing that God had made us all vapid drones so I could escape dealing with my own neurosis, He didn’t do that. He saw it fit to give us these things called feelings.
Therefore…it is not WRONG to feel. You are not unworthy because you have emotions or because sometimes your emotions get the better of you. There is not something wrong with you because at times you feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do with all the things you feel. It’s okay. God made you that way.
That being said, emotions are not the only compass by which we should guide our lives. In Matthew 26:26-46 Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane crying out to God, feeling so much that He physically sweat blood. But He didn’t let that sway Him. He continued on the course that God had set before Him, even though it meant experiencing and agony we will never fully understand. His emotions were not wrong. They didn’t make Him a less admirable or weaker person.
Which brings me to the second truth:
2) You do not have to hide what you are going through.
Clearly this does not mean that you should tell everyone you encounter about your feelings or completely lose your filter about what is acceptable to say to people. HOWEVER, your inner struggles were not meant to be battled alone. While Jesus was suffering in the Garden He shared with His 11 closest friends what was going on. Beyond that He had His 3 “besties” that He shared a little more with.
Jesus could have gone all macho and tough and said “Oh, psh, I don’t need support. I don’t need fellowship.” But He didn’t. He was not okay and He shared that with His friends. JESUS allowed Himself to have a support system.
In this life there are things that are outside of our control. Sometimes bad things happen to us. Some of us have been abused, hurt, broken, abandoned, cheated, divorced. Some of us have made mistakes and are now trying to cope with how we will allow the repercussions and the residual consequences affect the rest of our lives. Some of us are in the middle of a horrible and painful situations and feel so lost, confused and depressed that we don’t even understand how we got here, let alone how to get out.
Don’t do it alone.
I want to encourage you to open up to someone you trust. Maybe you don’t even feel like you HAVE anyone you can trust… take a chance. Or maybe you have spoken with your friends or even your family and you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere, or there are things you just can’t bring yourself to talk about.
There’s no shame in being not okay. Your worth is not lessened because you are going through a painful time or are trying to heal.
Off and on for several years I have seen trained counselor when I have needed to sort things out. Many of us think that there’s this giant taboo against getting counseling or therapy, but I’d like to debunk that myth right now. Sometimes there’s just too much all at once to process alone. There’s nothing shameful about it and it does NOT make you less of a person.
God’s love for you does not change regardless of what you are battling, regardless of who has betrayed you, what you have done, or what you have chosen to believe. Nothing in this world can take away your INFINITE worth to the King of the Universe.
It’s okay to not be okay… but God doesn’t want to leave you there. Open yourself up to others, but more importantly open yourself up to God just as Jesus did in the Garden.