Sometimes the world is just too much. We’re hard pressed on every side and our ability to process it all is simply overwhelmed. Emotional hibernation gives us the space to breathe and find our grounding to once again move forward.
Of course, we don’t want to repress or otherwise deny our emotions. Our feelings are telling us something important, and ignoring these issues won’t make them go away. In fact, we often only make matters worse when a neglected wound becomes infected.
At the same time, it’s not always appropriate or helpful to feel and try to process everything to the full immediately. Often we must put issues on the shelf to deal with later. For instance, we might wait until after work or on the weekend to give our soul the space it needs to truly deal with whatever is getting stirred up. And beyond these practical considerations, it might also be wise to give ourselves a break when the emotional intensity is simply too high.
Emotional hibernation is allowing time for our hearts to rest even as we continue with the rest of life. This is not numbing out or distracting ourselves; it’s simply not forcing ourselves to process things we’re not ready to deal with yet. And while this might include taking a day off from everything, it’s often still showing up while naming the elephant in the corner we’re not ready to deal with yet.
To be sure, hibernation doesn’t last forever. And at some point we must courageously tend to the deep movements of our inner world. But hibernation gives us the grace to do this wisely and not be taken out.
In the end, the human soul can only bear so much. Allow for times of emotional hibernation to give your heart the rest it needs before carrying on.