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You’re listening to the Brooke Snow Podcast! Conversations to help you live in your true identity as the creator of your life. I’m your host, Brooke Snow. You have Ep. 121 Tiny Tip: Name Your Emotions
These tiny tip are designed to give you one small thing you can do to be a better creator in your life. Each tip is inspired by the Law of Creation. Creation includes what we see, say, feel, and do, which leads to who we become. If you want a deep dive into the law of creation, check out my free course at brookesnow.com.
The feeling part of creation is an area I have long left in the abstract. However, I am learning that feelings give me important feedback for understanding what is being created in my life. To begin, let’s clarify the difference between feelings and emotions. We use the two words interchangeably. They are related, but they are also different.
Feelings are sensations you feel in your body. A tightness in your chest, a sinking sensation in your gut, flushing of your face, a whoosh that brings goosebumps and many other possible sensations.
Emotions are the story your mind is telling about the sensation. The tightness in the chest matches up with the story of anxiety, or the flushing in the face matches with the story of embarrassment, or the sinking sensation in the gut matches up with the story of fear.
Feelings and emotions are important data to help us understand our stories as well as a way to discern spiritual influence. Often I have had no idea what emotions I feel, I just know my body feels comfortable or uncomfortable sensations.
One practice I have learned from studying Buddhism is to mindfully name the emotions associated with my feelings. I may feel tightness, shortness of breath, and clenched fists. If I pause and name the emotions those sensations may correlate to a story of anger, frustration, and fear. The act of naming the specific emotion is helpful in understanding what my thoughts are.
The self help world teaches that our thoughts create our feelings so if you don’t like what you’re feeling, then change the thought. While this is true, I usually don’t know the thought causing the feeling. I have to work backwards. So I tune into what I feel, name the emotion, and then the thought reveals itself. Only then can I see what the story is and mindfully navigate it.
This practice of naming emotions reminds me of when God commanded Adam to name all the animals in the Garden of Eden so he could have dominion over them. Let me ask you…
Have your emotions ever felt like an animal inside of you?
When I name the emotions I feel, I am amazed at how it helps me feel like I have more dominion over my mind and body. When my kids are emotional I invite them to name the emotions they feel too. Naming the emotions gives us dominion over them.
While emotions give us clues to our stories, it also helps us discern spiritual influence. I have grown up being taught that the Holy Ghost will speak to me through my emotions. The Apostle Paul teaches in Galations chapter 5:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Recently I prayerfully made a decision to end an important commitment and responsibility. I felt the fruits of the spirit when I counseled with the Lord over the decision. However, when I got a text back from the person in charge, my entire body felt a whoosh of intense emotion. I immediately interpreted the sensation as a sign from God that I wasn’t doing the right thing. After all, it was a dramatic feeling. It must be God telling me I had made a wrong choice?
Thankfully, I have been practicing naming my emotions:
Guilt for not soldiering on.
Shame for saying no.
Fear I was making the wrong decision.
Fear about what other people will think.
Fear that I was negatively altering my future.
Naming the emotions was clarifying to discern whether this was a message from God or not. Guilt, shame, and fear are not fruits of the spirit. I could discern this was not a message from God and hold to my original peace.
This small moment was a turning point in my ability to receive revelation. I was immediately struck wondering how many times in my life I had felt a dramatic sensation in my body and assumed God was speaking to me when He wasn’t, simply because I had not taken the time to name the emotions and see if they fit the fruits of the spirit or not. I simply associated dramatic sensations of any kind as a sign from God and would follow accordingly. How many other times have I confused fear for faith?
The scriptures invite us again and again to Awake and arise. Part of waking up is being conscious to what you’re feeling. Name your emotions and have dominion.
You are a creator, now go create something great.