Some of us have difficulty with the idea of praying our raw feelings (rage, doubt, terror, etc.)—even in the face of events that legitimately evoke those feelings, even in the most “faith-filled”. Some of us don’t have a problem with the *idea* of it, but have great difficulty actually entering into that experience of sharing our emotions with God in real-time, as we react to another___(fill-in-the-blank)___. Consider what your experience has been with those emotions thus far in your life. How did your parents and significant others in your young years hold (or ignore, or shame, or even punish you for) those more “negative” feelings and questions? Could it be that some of us learned so deeply that those feelings aren’t “allowed”, in whatever way, that we deny—even to ourselves—that they are there? Could that be part of the reason we gravitate toward the sweet, trusting parts of the prayers of the psalms—and resist really leaning into the messier parts, finding ways to logic our way out of needing to face the feelings reflected on the page? This is not to say we need to jump headlong into our deepest, darkest places immediately—but more of a wondering about what *else* is—could there be more connectedness we might experience, if we were able to bring our fullest selves to our life with God (with every layer of feeling and thought and embodied experience)? If you are sensing this is an invitation for you, consider finding someone to walk with you along this path (A safe and trusted friend? A spiritual director? Another soul care provider?)—to be with you in these deep places. Or, if you are feeling like you want to take some shaky steps to wade in, with God, consider letting the lament psalms scaffold some of those prayers for you for a while. Let yourself join the psalmists in their terror and rage, all the while beginning to give yourself permission to feel and express your own, with the Gentle One (who has also experienced the full range of human emotions!).

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2023-02-03 14:30:06 UTC