Why You Should Never Ignore Your Feelings

Why You Should Never Ignore Your Feelings

Stephen Ministry

“I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About This”

By Lisa Jancarik

Ignoring how you feel about a situation, an event, or how someone treats you is ignoring some important internal signals. Remember how in Star Wars, main characters often said “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” before rushing into danger in the next scene? That feeling was dread, and it was Luke Skywalker’s first signal to himself that the Death Star was no moon. Emotions are not a sixth sense but rather internal truthtellers, gauges for noticing when some part of life is out of equilibrium.

Well, Darth Vader isn’t going to show up because you’re feeling frustrated, sad or hopeless. However, continuing in some stiff upper-lipped status quo definitely has a Dark Side in the form of impact on your own health and your relationships. How different would the Star Wars films have been if Luke, Leia and the rest of them had talked with their Stephen Ministers when they “had a bad feeling about this”? Duller cinema notwithstanding, they might have made different choices if they had attended to their internal truthtellers, feelings.

Recognizing Your Feelings Gives You Choices

God has given us an enormous emotional range, and they are a gift. Even Jesus showed his emotions during his time on earth. Perhaps it seems counterintuitive, but recognizing your feelings allows you to take a more intentional approach to choosing your words and actions.

For example, suppose Shelly has been taking care of her mother since her mother’s stroke six months ago. At first, her brother and sister helped out, but they have become unreliable with driving and errands. Shelly hasn’t been saying anything when her younger siblings cancel at the last minute despite the added work for her. Lately, when they do anything to help with Mom, they seem to think they are doing her a favor instead of sharing responsibilities. Last week, her brother Tim called to suggest that their mother could probably handle adult daycare, but Shelly suddenly erupted with “Well, how would you know? I’m the only one who does anything for Mom!” and hung up.

Stephen Ministers Listen and Provide a Nonjudgmental Space

Caring for aging parents is one of life’s common challenges. It can be stressful and emotional, and sometimes you just want someone to listen. A Stephen Minister can listen attentively and compassionately while you examine your emotions, perhaps noticing a feeling you haven’t acknowledged yet. In a one-on-one conversation with a Stephen Minister, you can have a nonjudgmental space to have a good look at what you have been tempted to ignore.

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