6 Steps to Take the Power out of an Unbearable Feeling

6 Steps to Take the Power out of an Unbearable Feeling

I’ve been allergic to egg all my life. At times I have even ended up in a hospital when I have inadvertently eaten egg.

One time as a child I went to a camp and the cooks thought that I was just being fussy. They didn’t tell that what I was having for lunch contained egg. I reacted in one way, my mother reacted in another way! #sparksdidfly

At that moment of watching all my friends doing what was completely normal, I felt completely alone. Like I was different, real different.

The egg allergy is a relatively easy problem to manage. What is truly difficult is the character bruise and wound that has been left on the soul.

What character bruises have you incurred?

In my last post, I discussed Unbearable Feelings.

I also offered you a list of 35 Unbearable Feelings that you can review for yourself.

unbearable feeling

I think one of my Unbearable Feelings is number 12

I will do anything to avoid feeling rejected, unwanted,
excluded, unloved, abandoned, shut-out or left-behind.

We all have unbearable feelings that, sub-consciously, we will do anything to avoid. When we feel them we may well have an allergic response of anger, sulking, shutting down etc.

We form deep patterns of behaviour so that we will never feel those feelings again.

Here is the God news.

  1. God was there.
    God knows every detail of that moment. From the time those thoughts and feelings crept into the soul and began setting up house, until today and how they play themselves out. God knows it all.
  2. God knows exactly what it is like to feel that Unbearable Feeling.
    I think the most painful experience Jesus experienced was the utter abandonment whilst dying on the cross. No one was with him. God intimately knows the feelings that you feel. Jesus walks alongside us with a full awareness of the mess.
  3. God can use my flawed thinking for good.
    I’m so thankful for this. That God can take my flaws and bruises and create something good.

    We can be sure that every detail in our lives of love for God
    is worked into something good. Romans 8:28

  4. God doesn’t freeze us into our past.
    Some people freeze us into our past. That there is no hope of change.
    They have little motto’s which cursedly say

    ‘Once a … always a …’
    and ‘A leopard doesn’t change its spots’ and ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’To which I say ‘Thank God I’m neither a leopard or an old dog’

    Do you say that to yourself? Do you think that about others?God is not like that and we should not see ourselves or others in this light.In my last post, I shared this beautiful quote from C.S. Lewis

    We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. C.S. Lewis Problem of Pain

God is active in the renovation of your heart. You can proactively join in this ‘making’ to reach ‘a certain character’.

6 Proactive steps to dis-empower the unbearable feeling

  1. See certain feelings for what they are.
    That they are echoes from the past that don’t accurately represent current reality.
    Our raw emotions will want us to believe that ‘If it was true back then, it’s true now’.
    Time has moved on, it is only a shadow that remains.
  2. Reassess the Vows made in pain.
    In those times of hurt and pain, it is normal (and natural) to set up defensive boundaries.
    We make a vow that ‘I will never let myself be hurt like that again’.
    Now is the time that we can ask ourselves some empowering questions.

    Are those vows helping you or hindering you?
    Are they serving you or enslaving you?

  3. Speak as a loving wise adult to the small child within
    Perhaps that child within you, that was hurt all those years ago, needs to comforted, reassured and brought to a new level of maturity.
    You can be kind to yourself. Reassuring the hurt, frightened, angry child.
    I love the story of Jesus being with the little children.

    The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. … Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them. Mark 10:13, 16 The Message (MSG)

     I see myself being gathered up by Jesus, feeling his warmth and love. Then listening to his kind words.

    What would Jesus say to you?

  4. Tell yourself the truth
    I have lots of little quotes, insights, and verses that I pull out for my mind to chew on.
    Over the years I have collected them from books, counselors, talks etc
    Many of them I share through my various social media channels. Here are a few.
    1. That was then, this is now, I choose to live in the now.
    2. The thoughts I indulge grow stronger. The thoughts I acknowledge and PUT IN THEIR place lose their power to discourage me
    3. My past does not define me. It’s the decisions and choices I make today.
  5. Have others speak truth to you
    Have you ever asked someone to just declare over you what you most need to hear?
    Writer and speaker Rob Bell has a couple of friends that when he needs a reassurance he will ring, and tell them the words his heart most needs to hear.

    [Tweet “Sometimes we know what we need to hear. We need someone to speak it to us. Rob Bell”]

    Something happens when words are spoken out and over us. It’s a kind of benediction, the utterance of a blessing.

    Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up. Proverbs 25:25

  6. Brush your teeth, every day.
    Everyday I brush my teeth. It’s a habit.In the same way, we clean and wash our minds with truth every day. Habits are formed of telling yourself the truth. Reminding yourself of what is true and good.

Some of those unbearable feelings may need to be unpacked with someone who has been trained as to how to go gently into the soul. Seek out a counselor, therapist, spiritual director to help you dis-empower those feelings.

Quotes to consider

To achieve radical change, I need to call some of my feelings 'liars' and choose to side with truth, against my own emotions, until my feelings come around. David Riddell

  • To achieve radical change, I need to call some of my feelings ‘liars’ and choose to side with truth, against my own emotions, until my feelings come around. David Riddell
  • Sometimes you have to tell unhelpful feeling’s to just ‘sit down and shut-up!’ David Riddell
  • Are you telling yourself the truth? Not if you’re feeling powerless or fearful. Your thoughts must encourage you, not intimidate you. David Riddell

Questions to answer and leave a comment below or anonymously

  1.  What stops you from looking more at the genesis, or starting point of some of those unbearable feelings?
  2. What would it be like for you to have Jesus gather you up and speak blessings over you? What would he say and why do you think he would say that?
  3. What would it be like to have someone speak a benediction – a blessing over you? What does your heart need to hear right at this moment?
  4. Prayerfully ask yourself on a regular basis ‘What is the feeling I am feeling now, what triggered it, and when did I first feel it?


Barry Pearman

Image cc: Ashim D’Silva

Image cc: Camila Cordeiro

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