Anger, sadness, jealousy, hurt. Four unhealthy, unproductive, unpalatable emotions. But also, catalysts for transformation.
Negative emotions are inevitable. No matter our temperament, we’re all faced with emotions we would prefer not to have.
They cause guilt and shame and compromise and pain and fear to emerge from within us. They bring unhappiness and anxiety into would-be happy, peace-lit lives.
What and where is their purpose?
Encouragement in Emotional Pain
First, pain is an encouragement, for God is in the pain. He is there with us as we experience it — His Presence beckons us to something better.
Pain is stimulus for reflection, which is a good springboard for change.
God has wired us to do something with pain. Pain, whether it ends in fear or guilt or shame, or a double or triple whammy of a combination of them, is not some nasty end point, but the beginning of an opportunity. Once we’re able to settle down enough to accept the presence of the pain, we’re then in pole position to explore it without judgment.
Pain is never to be judged, ridiculed, condemned or scorned. It’s an important indicator that things are not right so we can right them.
Loving Unhealthy Emotions into a Healing Encounter with God
Unhealthy emotions, accepted, we now have the perfect basis for moving on, from the very place of our imperfection. And pain is God’s chosen instigator. He knows we need to be stimulated — aroused from our spiritual slumber. Pain is His agent.
God loves it when we’ve sufficient humility to journey into reality. Having knocked at truth’s door, we verily find freedom awaits us inside, where lies can no longer reside.
The pain in unhealthy emotions can drive us through curiosity into a search for God’s truth. God never has anything bad for us, and we can be assured that enduring pain does bring healing.
The purpose of unhealthy emotions is the awakening of pain’s opportunity for healing.
Acknowledgement to Paula Constant, The Power of Enough, as inspiration for this article.