Freedom to feel for me has more to do with having the ability to know that the people in my life are safe for me to be with, to talk to, to be emotionally honest with. So many times in my life I have heard, in one way or another, “Suck it up. That’s life,” but that statement isn’t always true or helpful.
How many times did I reach out for help or guidance and was met with blank stares or something like, “Yeah that would be hard,” or was just ignored?
I have often asked myself the question of why did my parents punish me for things like not finishing my chores, but then, when I did something really stupid or got into legal trouble, they had nothing to say. To his credit, my dad did go to court with me after I was arrested once (as a teenager), but neither of my parents asked me a most important question: “What is going on with you that you would do these things?” Incidents like these confirmed in my mind that they really didn’t care and that my cries for help were not heard.
I remember a little drawing I did when I was a teenager, of a guy sitting on the ground with his knees up. He was doing something with on object coming from his midsection. One of my brothers saw the drawing and thought I drew a picture of a guy doing something sexual to himself, which wasn’t the case at all.
The drawing was actually of a guy stabbing himself in the stomach. What was my brother’s response when I told him what the picture was of? He had no response.
How often do we call out for help, maybe in the only way we can, or even know how, and how many times are we actually heard?
This week, at the summer camp where I am working, one camper is non-communicative except for a noise he makes continuously. It makes me wonder what he is trying to say, or what thoughts are going through his head, but because of this inability to communicate he is stuck in a shell, remaining misunderstood and ridiculed for the ability he does have.
Have you ever felt like that? Maybe you are even trying your best to scream for help, but you are only met with blank stares, ridicule and silence because others can’t understand the way you reach out for help or what you are going through.
It is things like this, traumas, that get us into patterns of retracting ourselves, isolating, and returning to hiding how we really feel.
Jesus calls us to come out. Dare to step into the light. Ask God for His guidance and find a person or a group of people that you can trust and confide in, where you can feel safe and where you are able to process those thoughts, feelings and emotions that cause you to withdraw from this world, hiding your light that God has given you.
The Word tells us to be strong and very courageous, if today is not the day for you, the day is coming when the powers and principalities of this world will no longer be able to restrain you and the person that God has called you to be. Be empowered, renew your mind and gain your freedom to feel.
~ Michael Epperson