There are times when for whatever reason: relational problems, physical pain or illness, depression, loss of work, loneliness, isolation, financial troubles, new diagnosis, death of a loved one ... it seems our bodies try to protect us by "turning off" our emotions. We find ourselves going through the motions of day to day life not something is missing. I've had this happen a few times in my life: after my Grandpa died when I was 15, when surgery ended up not relieving the pain ... So what do we do in times when we feel this way?
I've found that there are times when you just have to force yourself to do the things you don't "feel" like doing. Go to work. Clean the house. Even sometimes getting up in the morning. And even though this may not change the way you feel, it helps you get through the time in the valley.
It's frustrating wanting your emotions to catch up with what you know and believe to be true. But eventually they will. Don't give up but keep on going and do things that you know you used to like doing or things that you know are important: read the Bible, pray - even if you don't know the words to say God cares how you are feeling, spend time with others who are encourage you, cook, garden, sing ... these things can give you little glimmers of what you used to love and help pull you out of the self-defeating feelings or lack of feelings.
Do these times that everyone goes through steal away all joy and hope? They don't have to! Joy is based not on changing emotions but on truth - the truth that God is with us no matter what, the truth of heaven, the truth of those around us who love us for who we are, the truth of the beauty in creation! That is one of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog - to remind myself and others that there IS a joy or "a different kind of happy" that is not based on circumstances.
Do any of you have ideas for what you do when you are going through a valley in life? I would love to hear!