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I thought I was controlling my emotion.

To all the huggers, criers, and people who feel deep feelings – I never thought I’d be one of you. No, the touchy feely world wasn’t for me. I had learned to put up a stone wall and additional physical touch wasn’t necessary in my life. I thought I was learning to control my emotion. If I cried less, I was tougher right? The reality was I was hardening my heart to potential to grow. I was controlling emotion by not allowing it to be felt. Yes, emotions can be ugly. Feeling them to their full potential can be scary. What if your heart gets broken? What if you fail? And what if you’re hurt, abandoned, ridiculed, or more? There’s perceived safety in a hard heart.

There’s also no joy or growth.

Feelings are meant to be felt and to be honored. They are meant to be cues for change in your life. If they are positive and healthy – rejoice! Be grateful! Celebrate the blessings, love, achievements, and the Lord’s abundance in your life.

If they are negative and fearful emotions, acknowledge them. Take note and pray over them. We were never promised a life without trials. Use your trials as opportunities. What is this situation trying to teach you? Who are you trying to become? How can you learn from this experience?

Consider it all joy – James 1:2 (My current favorite verse).

There’s something special about the group of people who help you break down your hardened heart. I never thought I’d become a hugger – that I would seek out opportunity to make sure the person I greeted knew I cared. I never thought I’d be a crier. But when you hear story upon story of tremendous pain that has transformed lives into something purposeful and beautiful, you can’t help but shed a tear with them. Life is precious and beautiful – even the ugly stuff. When you are surrounded by people who take their broken and transform it into something amazing, you can’t help but work on your pain too.

Be the hugger. Be the crier. Feel the emotions bravely. You never know who you are inspiring.