You can be addicted to a certain kind of sadness.
The scenario is familiar. A conflict, hurt or tension has happened, but it was also eventually resolved, and I’ve had plenty of time and space to process it. Hours later I haven’t allowed that resolution to sink in, so I’m still feeling down.
I still feel wounded and wronged. Unwilling to move on, I’ll go to bed nursing that feeling of being offended, not feeling better until morning. Almost always, sleep makes everything better for me, but it’s really just comfy avoidance.
I hold onto an offense instead of accepting or giving forgiveness and walking in faith onward. I forget that I can forgive and go forward, even if I don’t feel 100% better yet. Sometimes it’s the walking on that will bring the better, and I forget that.
I try to remind myself to move and to pray. For me, getting up and moving around (instead of moping/sleeping) really helps, and surrendering things in prayer is key. Turning to the Lord in prayer is so obvious but in pride I often ignore it. So, moving/walking and praying really helps me listen and see more clearly. See that there’s a whole big world, way bigger than the offense I’m holding on to. See that there are other precious people outside my little hurt, and they deserve my prayers and attention. See that getting stuff done around the house with Garret is a good thing, not a burden. See that my little corner of the world is beautiful, even when I’m too busy pouting to see it.
Sometimes it also helps to write it out, but I have to make sure I write it out with forward movement and not with dwelling. I love writing, and writing out my prayers and desires and hurts has been important to me for a long time. But, there’s a difference between woe-is-me writing it out, and helpful writing it out. I can feel when my writing has movement and rhythm, when my heart is willing to move forward and onto forgiveness.
So when I turn to writing for processing, I have to remind myself to write about what happened, yes, but then confess my own wrong-doing, accept/give forgiveness, and remember that grace and hope are real in Christ. And then exhale and move forward. Then the hardest thing is admitting to Garret that I’m stuck and need help. (He already knows, usually.)
And friends, our real Help is ever present, even during stuck days. Your emotional ups and downs aren’t too weird or unpredictable for the Lord to understand. He knows all of your ways, and He loves you. God loves your whole package – dreams, emotions, worries, and all.
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
1 John 1:5-10