God created you to be inwardly strong, emotionally resilient, and to have great relationships.
If you’re not inwardly strong and resilient, it could cost you your soul.
Stuffing your vulnerable and weak feelings you suppress your emotions. When you keep your tears from ever spilling you neglect your needs, minimize your wishes, and deny your feelings.
It may seem like the right thing to do ~ especially as a Jesus follower.
He said, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23 ESV
The idea of taking up your cross daily and following Him fits with dying to yourself, to your selfish ways and ambitions, and living for God.
Dying to self is necessary for including others in your life in meaningful ways.
Problem is . . . dying to self can turn into a soul death.
God has created you for relationship
But, not at the cost of your own soul.
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Mark 8:36 NIV
I begin to lose my soul and starve my emotions when I tune myself out.
When I deny my thoughts, and minimize my feelings, pieces of me begin to slip away.
But I can bring those lost pieces back to the whole-me when I place value on my concerns, thoughts, and feelings.
~ Self-understanding builds inner strength. ~
As you and I learn to listen to our hearts, we become better people. As we listen closely to our own inner conversations we learn to deeply hear ourselves.
Think of it as a muscle. The more you and I tune in to the conversations we have with our self the better we will get at hearing them.
Journaling, or jotting down thoughts and feelings creates inner awareness which in turn ~ strengthens your inner being.
When I began to think about my feelings, for example, instead of just be confused and led by them, I can stand back from myself and see what’s actually happening.
You gain strength, smarts, and wholeness, when you are aware of what’s happening in your inner life.
~ Sometimes it’s as simple as giving the feeling a name. ~
You may have hidden your feelings from yourself so long you don’t know which are real or not real.
As we listen to our conversations within we become wiser.
With a bit less emotion, we view our life and it’s circumstances more realistically.
We can be begin telling ourselves what to do and not do because we are thinking about our emotions instead of being led by them.
Human desire stirs my emotions. When I act on these desires, without thought, I am weak.
Human desire is infinite by it’s nature; it cannot be satisfied. You must take your stand against it because you cannot satisfy it. You can never get enough money, if you want money. You can never get enough power, if you want power. You can never get enough love, you can never get enough glory. It is impossible. So fundamental is this truth that every person who wishes to follow Christ must understand it. Dallas Willard Life Without Lack
Tuning in to these inner conversations gives me an edge. It helps me get a handle on my want-to-self . . . I want to do this, and I want to do that. It is a life led by self.
I’ve discovered this, me – myself – and – I, way of living is not satisfying.
It begins to make sense when I understand my human desires are infinite and cannot be satisfied apart from God.
Dallas Willard continues to explain this further.
Desire is infinite partly because we were made by God, made for God, made to need God, and made to run on God. We can be satisfied only by the one who is infinite, eternal, and able to supply all our needs; we are only at home in God. When we fall away from God, the desire for the infinite remains, but it is displaced upon things that will certainly lead to destruction.
Being quiet enough to hear your inner conversations prepares the soil for you to hear God.
We can ignore, neglect, shame, or deny, our emotional hunger for a while, but eventually the denial will bite. The more we ignore our emotional hunger the hungrier we get.
Jesus is the only One who can fill us.
If we ignore His intimate presence our spirits can become bitter and toxic.
With God’s grace, as we become intimately acquainted with our inner world of thoughts and feelings, we will also be better able to surrender our will to Him.
It’s here we will find deep peace and joy because our wills are made to surrender to God.
Do you have trouble hearing your own voice?
Have you been honest enough with yourself to say, ‘It’s difficult trying to change. I don’t know if I want to.”?
Do you know what your inner conversations are today?
Do you have trouble hearing God’s voice in your life?