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May 8, 2015

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a rut?  Perhaps you’re having a lazy week and can’t break the habit of sitting in front of the TV.  Or you’re just not feeling your devos, and have no desire to pray.

For me, the ruts are usually emotional.  If I’m frustrated, I stay frustrated for a while.  If I’m sad, I’m sad for days.  And the thing is, I like the rut.  At least at the time.  When I’m angry, I don’t want to be content.  When I’m sad, I don’t want to be happy.  And it’s not that I’m simply okay with what I’m feeling.  No, I want to feel more.  More emotion.  More anger.  More sadness.  More cynicism.  What’s the deal?

Years ago I decided I was going to leave the act behind.  If someone asked “How’s it going?” when I was sad, I told them I was sad.  If I was frustrated, I gave it to ’em straight.  I convinced myself I was being genuine, a real person, not one of those fake Christians we encounter so often.  In fact, if I said, “I’m doing well!” when I really wasn’t, I was convinced I was a liar.  So, not only was I being a genuine person (better than all those fake jerks out there), but I was repenting, and no longer lying!

But, after a while, I discovered I wasn’t being genuine at all.  Yes, I was telling the truth, but, really, I was wallowing in self-pity.  If I was angry, everyone was going to hear about it, damn it.  And if they didn’t like it, well then they were jerks who didn’t really care about anyone else.

Clearly, my goal wasn’t genuinity… genuity… genuinosity… genuineness.  There we go, genuineness (thanks, Merriam-Webster!).  I wanted validation.  I wanted to know it was okay to feel the way I felt.  And I wanted others to feel it, too.

So, what do we do when we feel stuck in an emotional rut?  Do we put on a happy face and ignore it?  Do we talk it out?  Do we wallow?  What do you do when you’re caught in an emotional rut?

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