I can internalize a lot of feelings. I tend to let things build up inside of me until I either fall apart – or explode….not a good habit, nor good for my physical or emotional health. I learned that, when I started having heart palpitations two years ago.  It’s amazing what stress can do to the body.

I felt so immature. I felt like I was stupid to let things get out of control – emotionally – inside of me to the point that it affected my health. I felt like I was “not normal” and it has taken a great deal of prayer, tears, self analyzing, research, love, and growth – to come to a point in my life where I am more honest with myself about what I am feeling and how it affects me. I feel stronger now – even when I’m hurting – because I can be transparent and honest with myself about what is going on.

It’s been interesting that as God has been taking me through these personal hurdles and lessons – I have been finding that in no way, shape, or form – was I alone in what I experienced with stress and internalizing feelings. Not only that – but I was far from “not normal.” I was very normal!! I have been shocked and amazed at how I have been discovering how many people in life are walking around stressed to the core. People who I previously viewed as being “cool” or “having it all together.” Instead, I am finding that they too, have allowed stress and internalizing their feelings to affect them emotionally and physically. Whether it’s health issues that come up, depression that creeps in, anxiety attacks, doubting their faith, or self – esteem issues. Internalizing our feelings leaks out to affect us.

What I wonder is – why do we feel so ashamed to admit how we feel? Why are we afraid to let others see that we are scared, hurt, embarrassed – or even weak?? Why do we feel we must put on a smile and act like we have it all together and life is hunky dory? What are we doing to ourselves?

I’ve had people tell me that they don’t understand how I can feel so free in being myself. That I appear to feel very comfortable in my own skin. I’ll tell you something ~ I’m still discovering how to be free in who I am and how to truly be comfortable and free in my own skin. But I thinkI have begun to tap into that feeling- finally – by simply embracing God’s plans for me and learning to be more honest with myself in my daily battles and challenges. God is teaching me to be real and to be honest about my own limitations.

It’s not always easy. In fact, some days it downright hurts. But oh – it is liberating. The more I can go to Him and put my cares on HIS shoulders and trust Him to handle them; the more I am able to voice my gut-level feelings to Him – the more I can be honest with myself about my human faults, fears, and emotions.

I’m learning it’s okay to feel weak. Because that’s when I lean onto God the most instead of trying to control life myself. He is teaching me to be more discerning in what battles I truly want to internalize and what ones I need to let go of. If the challenge is worth my time, emotional energy, and will have lasting repercussions on me or those I love…chances are, I will take that battle to heart. Otherwise, I’m challenging myself to learn how to let the rest go.

And learning I am. Won’t you learn with me?

Are you one of those dear, beloved comrades – who like me – has let life infiltrate your body, heart, mind, and soul? Do you know who you are anymore? Do you have health issues – or emotional issues?

Dear friend – I know the feeling of shame that can come upon you when you know that instead of controlling your life – life has turned around to control you. And it doesn’t have to be that way. That is Satan’s lie to us. Don’t let him win. Start today – to get the help you need for your life. Turn your cares over to the Lord as you seek the help you need for your physial or emotional issues. Don’t internalize your feelings any longer.

It’s time we all start healing and going easier on ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to love ourselves enough to know our limits, enforce our boundaries, and embrace our uniqueness

Dionna Sanchez
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