Trusting Feelings Can Leave You Stranded in a Ditch
Trusting feelings will often lead you to the point where the pavement ends or else they will lead you blindly into a brick wall (or a closed door in the dark of night). Feelings are fickle. Anyone that has ever cried because of a commercial understands that truth.
Too often, we trust the fickle feelings and they lead us nowhere and definitely not to where we wanted to go. You have to move past the feelings to lean into your unique design.
Daily Inspiration and Encouragement
January 31, 2020
Dash of Twisted Encouragement
Breaking the Need for Trusting Feelings
Trusting feelings can get you into trouble or at least get you lost. Feelings don’t tell you the truth of the situation or paint an honest picture of the situation or circumstances. Instead, adrenaline stirs feelings and tilts the perspective viewed through those feelings.
The other day, I went walking to get a dose of vitamin D. The sun sparkled in the blue winter sky. I’m pretty sure I heard it calling my name, so I went out for a walk outside.
The rain had filled the creek over the many cloudy days prior to my walk. Water tumbled over fallen trees and stirred with angered determination around the rock formations. The power of the rushing water blocked out all else every time I came close to those places.
I walked out to the middle of the bridge that spans our creek, and the gurgling swooshing forced me to look closer. It sounded alive.
“Maybe it’s the otter.” Several months back, I spotted an otter swimming in the creek. Actually, I heard the otter drop into the creek and then I had to convince myself the log moving upstream was an otter. My deep-seated feelings for other aquatic creatures often turn logs into anything but what they are.
I walked over to the other side of the bridge and watched. Nothing swam under it. One day, while I was walking the same path, I had the blessing of watching a couple of beavers swim down the creek and under the bridge.
Not today. Nothing revealed itself to me.
I went back to the upper side of the bridge and watched the angry water some more. The sounds coming up reminded me of something swimming and ducking under the current. I leaned over to get a closer look, and my feelings began to demand attention.
All of the “what if” scenarios began spinning through my mind much like the water in the creek. The image of a giant alligator jumping up out of the creek struck me the hardest. I had to talk the feelings down by trying to assure them that the bridge was tall enough for it not to be a concern.
I still moved on and left the angry water or whatever might lie beneath to its stirrings.
Had I given into the feelings, I would probably have injured myself running for the homestead. Feelings will make you do things that would not seem rational if viewed through any other lenses. Fortunately, these particular feelings are quickly recognized and redirected (I did mention my deep-seated feelings about certain aquatic creatures, right). I’ve had plenty of practice.
But when it comes to walking out unique design, it’s not always as easy to recognize when we have given the reins to our feelings. If you’ve ever been horseback riding, you realize giving the reins to the horse will likely not end well for the rider.
Reining in the Feelings
Tap down feelings or take control of feelings so you don’t fall into the trap of trusting feelings to guide you in your journey. Fickle feelings do not guide well.
- Are the feelings stirred by a “what if” or by a “what is”? Feelings will make the imaginary seem real and tangible. But you want to act on things that are real and tangible and not those that seem that way.
- Are the feelings stirred by you or directed by someone else? Others will try to convince you of the “truth” – which is to say their truth – and it can cause your feelings to stir in response if their truth conflicts with your truth.
- Are the feelings pushing for a reaction or bolstering a purposeful action? If you are reacting, you aren’t thinking it through. If you are taking purposeful action then you have slowed down enough to hold it up to your desired destination.
Feelings happen. In the last hour, I have laughed out loud at a random response, cried because of a video someone shared and gotten panicked because the tracking app was not showing what I needed it to show. The feelings are real, but that doesn’t give them the right to be in control.
You can’t base your journey on feelings (besides, REO is the one that can’t fight the feelings). Make the choice to feel the feelings without letting the feelings take the wheel. Trusting feelings will lead you into a ditch instead of boldly into your purposeful life.
Are you trusting feelings or living on purpose?
Challenge for Intentional Actions
When Feelings Attack
Acknowledge the feelings.
Value the feelings.
Take slow breaths until you can respond in purposeful action.
Feelings will attempt to drive you to react – and often to react without thought or consideration. Just do what the feelings tell you to do. When you trust feelings without slowing down to think it through then you will end up in a ditch.
Quote of the Day
“Trusting feelings limits your ability to reach your goals.” – Kathryn Lang
What Others Say
Review your journal notes from the past 30 days.
Make additional notes about what you have learned and what you have done with what you have learned.
Be sure to include thoughts on how action in the Word is making a difference in the journey.
“The Lord is true to His world and He will bring it all to pass. Idols will fail EVERY TIME.” – from Jeremiah 49 – 52
If I am not walking in the blessings of God, I need to check and be sure I haven’t started following behind an idol instead. The Lord takes pleasure in blessing His children when His children make the choice to walk in obedience.
How did your first month of daily investment go? What worked? What would you like to do different moving forward?
Dig in deeper to the Word to grow a closer relationship with the Word.
What does it look like when you fully trust in the Lord?
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Great message. Great story. Great writing.
Thank you, Tom. Your encouraging words always come at just the right moment.