January 29th, 2004


challenging myths about emotions

I've been thinking lately about how I look at my emotions and how that affects what I do in response to them. Marsha Linehan's DBT Emotion regulation handout 2 addresses this. It presents some myths about emotion and encourages us to write out truth as a "challenge" to each myth. This is an important step in healthy emotion regulation. "regulating emotions" isn't the same thing as burying them, and for a long time that's how I treated it. I believed that negative emotions were bad.

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a revelation

I forgive you. I always do. I chose to love you from the very beginning. I forgave everything in advance. I don't hold things over your head. This isn't about me finding ways to hold you accountable for the past. I don't have any interest in condemning you. I want a real relationship with you that works. I want to talk to you, not just be your cheer leader. I'll provide for you forever, but I want to know you intimately. I want to be your friend.

But your past holds you accountable if you don't take steps to break patterns of behavior that separate you from me. Without making those changes, you will just continue making the same mistakes over and over. I'll forgive you over and over. But don't you want to be free of those things? Don't you want to stop holding the past over your head?

You asked me to make myself real to you. I'm using this situation to teach you about who I am. The situation you are in may be a consequence of your past sin, but I am working it together for good because I love you and have called you for a purpose: to tell others about me.

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