All the Feels
by Krista Monson
My mother said something to me when I was young that has stuck with me for decades. “Emotions are valid. It’s your attitude that is your choice.”
She constantly reminded me, and still reminds me today, that there is nothing wrong with feeling angry, frustrated, sad, upset, jealous, or disappointed. Those are emotions. Feelings. Every single one is completely natural. The choice we have is what we do with those emotions; especially when interacting with others. As a child, when I chose harsh words and actions towards my siblings to reflect my feelings, I was rewarded with a time out. Time to reconsider my attitude and actions. Time to take a break, breathe, and make a new choice.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” James 1:19b
Decades later, I still practice choosing my attitude amidst days of emotions. A common phrase a friend and I use is “All the Feels” to express how overwhelmed we can be by the sheer number of emotions we experience in a day. It can be tiring. It can leave us not knowing how to proceed. I take comfort in the reminder that emotions are valid and I can take a time out to breathe, pray for patience and guidance, and consider my attitude and how I interact with the world.