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By definition, feeling bad is not a pleasant experience. But this doesn’t make it a bad experience. In fact, sadness and grief are often important clues to our story – pointing to significant movements beneath the waterline of our souls.

Naturally, we try to avoid pain and suffering every chance we get. And we tend to apply this to hard and difficult emotions as well.

When we’re feeling bad we try to distract ourselves and focus only on the lighter, feel-good experiences of life.

And it’s true, some get so stuck in negativity they forget goodness still exist. But remembering the good is not running from the hard experiences we face. They too have their place and purpose.

For instance, grief is an emotion of loss. And it can include our loss of purpose and meaningful direction in life.

Consistently waking up in a nameless fog of sadness might indicate something is out of alignment in our life.

Perhaps changes need to be made in our work or relationships. Or maybe our grief is in realizing just how much our communities have turned their backs on God and his ways.

Whatever the case, when we simply self-medicate or keep ourselves otherwise distracted, we miss the deeper realities our sadness is pointing to.

And our anxiety and grief just grows more and more when we don’t pay attention to it – eventually taking us out.

It’s only in sitting with and going through our tough emotions that we can make it through to the other side.

This journey is still not pleasant. But it’s good in the sense it allows us to discover the deeper meaning, purpose, and peace our souls are searching for.

In the end, good grief is a clue to the deep movements of our heart and might also signal a need to enter into the next season God has for us.

Don’t run from it. Learn to listen and allow it to do its good work in your life.

Photo by Mariano Nocetti on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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