I just got off a call with a client.
She thought something was wrong with her because of persistent negative feelings about her marriage.
She understood her thought perpetuated the feelings, and yet it felt dismissive the way she was applying that knowledge.
She thought it meant she should just change her thought and feel better about things.
She felt shame for the way she was feeling and the ways she was thinking. She wanted to perfectly manage her mind and for her marriage to be “ideal”.
What she didn’t understand was that as human beings we feel negative half the time.
It does not mean that you are not a good enough Christian, wife or that you are failing.
We can just notice this is part of living in a fallen world, AND it’s not who we ARE.
However, when we start judging and resisting our thoughts, we are dismissing ourselves. We are exacerbating agony by agonizing over it.
When we resist, it is the equivalent of trying to push a beach ball under the water. The more we push it down, the more it pops up. It is a futile and counter-effective effort. It takes a lot of energy. It can consume us.
The more we push happy and resist negativity the more the negativity comes up.
This does not mean we indulge the negative or unpreferred emotion.
Rather we allow it. We allow without indulging or resisting.
We notice thoughts creating the feelings. We notice our thoughts about our feelings. We notice and allow it much the same way you allow a toddler to throw a fit at the store.
You don’t’ have to give into the toddler and you know you cannot stop the toddler from throwing the tantrum.
You allow him to do his thing because that is what he is going to do anyway.
When you stop resisting without indulging you are allowing. And when you allow, you aren’t forcing life, yourself or your relationship to fit your preconceived mold.
Allowing is gentle. It is loving.
And when we love, it is always enough.
It is normal to have an imperfect marriage. It is okay to be an imperfect wife. Nothing is wrong if you husband is imperfect.
That’s just how it is when you live in a fallen world.