Let’s face it being honest about our feelings and living transparently is difficult for the healthiest of adults. It takes work and vulnerability to live a life that is honest, connected, and in touch with your heart.
But it is worth it!!!! We have seen the fruit of honestly “feeling” in our marriage. We have seen the joys of it in friendships. We have seen the blessing of it in parenting. BUT IT IS NOT EASY!!!!! It means we have to face the hard stuff. Be honest about pain and disappointment. Open our hearts to dreams and hopes. It means you have to be willing to communicate and trust others with your heart.
Mark (hubby) and I are doing our best (which means we often mess up) to help our kids put words on their feelings. For example, there are many emotions that are often masked behind anger, like disappointment, shame, or jealousy. With a house full of two tweens hitting puberty, two following quickly after, and ME =) we have LOTS AND LOTS of feelings in our house ALL the time!!!
Honestly, most of the time it would be much easier for us to ask our kids to “suck up and deal with it”, instead of helping them name their feelings and then empathizing with them in a spirit of compassion.
But I can not say enough, how AMAZING it is!!!! It allows you to have sweet emotional connection to your CHILDREN….what a gift. One of the new buzz words around is “to live in authentic community”. What a great goal!!! But can I challenge us to live that way at HOME first??? Be willing to let your spouse and children FEEL. Be willing to take risks with them and ask forgiveness or share when you are hurt. Be willing to apologize and repair relationships. Take a risk and communicate your own feelings and hurts. Allow your children “room” to have feelings and be disappointed and angry. There is nothing to be afraid of. It will only draw you closer to one another and to the Lord…I PROMISE =).
God created us with emotions and feelings, let’s be open about them. Then ask Him to touch our authentic and true heart. Why do we love the Psalms so much? They are raw and filled with honesty. The Psalmist lays his heart out and then the Lord leads, speaks, instructs or encourages. They start with vulnerability!
Living life openly in the context of a family takes lots and lots of practice…for everyone!! If we are going to help our kids put words to their overwhelming emotions, we need to be able to put names on our emotions first.
We have found some posters that have made a huge help in letting our children name what they feel. We have them hanging in our kitchen. They are a HUGE help when a kiddo is “stuck” and can not put a word to their feelings. The silly faces often make them giggle which can loosen up the heat of the moment drama a bit =). Their favorite face is”Hysterical”, because they say it looks like he is letting out a huge burp =)
The posters are fairly cheep and are a great return on investment!
Blessings to you and happy “feeling”,