Be Brave and Get Curious About What is Happening in Your Soul
Curiosity is a brave behavior. Because choosing to be curious is choosing to be vulnerable because it requires you to surrender to uncertainty.
Can you feel the risk you have to take to get curious about what is happening in your soul?
The risk is risky (duh) so too many of us choose instead to just muddle through or to strive through or to power through. Or sometimes we choose to numb through with a negative behavior pattern.
We do this as our soul is crying out for something. Something else.
Most of us don’t do emotions well. If we can’t fix it, we want to numb it. All of these “controlling the outcome” behaviors are soul suckers—and exhausting.
How about we bravely get curious as to what is going on instead?
Your first brave decision:
You don’t have to begin by pinpointing the emotion accurately. You will figure that out along the way of curiosity. Your beginning is to just recognize that you are feeling something. Repeat: feeling something. Breathe. It is okay to feel something. You will not let your world down by feeling the exhaustion of your soul.
You may feel sad which will be why you want to immediately busy yourself again. You are afraid to feel sad. You are afraid to admit that something is off about your life. You are afraid that you being sad will let down your world. But Dr. Henry Cloud wisely says this about sadness.
Sadness is always the way to joy because it’s a signal that there is hurt of some kind that needs to be processed, and usually, it involves a loss. We just have to acknowledge our feelings around that loss, but the vulnerability of sadness tells us to avoid feeling it.
When people deny their sad feelings, they “harden” the heart and lose touch with the grace-giving aspects of who they are. Unresolved sadness may lead to depression, physiological problems, substance abuse, eating disorders, and the inability to get close to others.
And while sadness creates uncomfortable feelings, it’s a major aspect of ourselves that we must protect. If we can’t become sad and process our hurt, it affects other relationships in our lives. Your sadness allows you to recognize what you valued and helps you honor your feelings around that loss.
With that said, sadness not a sign of weakness, but rather, brings you strength, healing, and a path towards joy. –Dr. Henry Cloud email, September 11, 2019
So much truth in this to reshape your thinking. Curiosity exposed your sadness which exposed your bigger problem—the very one that your soul is asking you to pay attention to.
Do not be afraid of your sadness. It is not weakness but rather will bring you strength, healing, and a path towards joy. We are getting somewhere.
Your next brave decision:
In your curiosity do what the wise ones have figured out: slow down, take a deep breath, and get curious about that sadness. That curiosity can then open up the Holy Spirit to speak to your soul so you can find the words to what it is. You will feel the uncertainty. You will also feel the possibility of rest and freedom and truth. You may even feel a glimmer of hope that something good is about to happen. That maybe something can change.
Which means you will also feel vulnerably exposed again. Because to hope is to consider the possibilities of something changing—and believing that might be possible. That this good God is going to actually deliver on your behalf.
When you are in sadness–or worse yet, when you are hustling, striving, muddling through, powering through or numbing to fix the sadness–you have started to believe that nothing good is going to happen to you unless you do it for yourself. You may even know the promises of God but you also believe those are for somebody else.
Yet here in the stillness you are feeling a glimmer of hope. This is the Holy Spirit whispering truth to you. Your curiosity gave you this gift.
Next brave decision:
Write down what these glimmers of hope are. Write down that you are sad and that you are okay with it because you are okay. Find a special worship song that repeats what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. Put that worship song on repeat so it soaks into your soul. Take the awkward moments to search the Bible (hello internet!) to find that one verse that tells you the truth about what is going on. Post that verse everywhere for you to see it all the time. Find a vulnerable relationship with somebody. Let someone carry you, pray for you, so you don’t have to do everything for once.
By doing these things you just put yourself “out there” to be seen. All of those behaviors of hustling, striving, muddling through, powering through or numbing to fix the sadness were there to hide you. To keep your world small. Which is why your soul was crying out. You are worthy to be seen. Your soul knows this.
Next brave decision:
Something will need to change in your life. This will cause you to feel fear. You are going to feel vulnerable again. You will hate your curiosity at this point.
Because now you can no longer accept the lie you’ve accepted about yourself.
There is going to be the death of something. This has to happen to grow. This always has to happen for something to grow.
I understand the fear that now screams inside your head. But really, can you go back to the way it used to be? You are at a decision point. A brave decision point. You hate your curiosity at this point. What will you do?
May this inspire you at this vulnerable point: Checklist for Brave Living.
Next brave decision:
Sing your worship song, repeat your special Bible verse, ask your friend to “carry” you and make the change. Trust the Promiser because you are choosing to believe that God will redeem every bit of this painful mess.
Next brave decision:
Let your soul dance. Celebrate your brave curiosity. It’s been too long.
( Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash)
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