Feeling the sacred power of “me too”
We met at Starbucks like we usually do, and she ordered her bright green tea while I got something with a bit more cream, sugar and caffeine. Then, the craziest thing happened.
We both admitted to crying that very morning.
I cried because our youngest had a rough start at school the day before. She cried because life is throwing heaping helpings of hurt in her direction.
Now, to the casual observer, two women admitting they cried doesn’t sound like much. But to this Achiever, someone who leans more on self and less on the God of amazing grace, it’s a big deal. Normally, I stuff my feelings down, but in this case, I decided to feel them. I let go of my pride by admitting to another person that I don’t have it altogether.
There are two reasons I habitually dismiss my feelings.
1. It’s easier to dismiss my feelings than it is to feel them and give them to God.
When I admitted to crying that morning, it felt like freedom and looked like trust. It sounded like emotion-proof walls crashing down. Feeling feelings seems dangerous because we admit we’re not 100% in control, we don’t have it all together, and we experience something real and not curated.
But there’s something God-honoring about admitting who you are and what you’re feeling.
As a high-achieving woman who loves metrics and productivity, feelings have never been my thing—what objectives or goals do they achieve?
In Emotional Agility, Susan David says that when we try to kill off our feelings, “the real victim is our own well-being.” The authors of The Cry of the Soul add to this sentiment when they say, “Ignoring our emotions is turning our back on reality. Listening to our emotions ushers us into reality. And reality is where we meet God… Emotions are the language of the soul.”
So, as a high-achieving woman who never let feelings be her thing, I was wrong: feelings help us build trust with God, embrace our humanity, and give a voice to our hurting heart.
God loves us so much that He gives us emotions as a method to communicate with us and to signal us when something’s not right.
For years, I ignored emotions because they didn’t seem to matter when there was so much work to be done. But sometimes, Achiever-friend, we are the work. We are the ones who God wants to attend to, give grace to, and show compassion toward.
Feel your feelings, and keep them tethered to God’s perfect love.
2. It’s easier for me to push you away with my pride than it is to invite you in.
When my friend and I both admitted to crying that very morning, it felt like communion—we came together in brokenness, and it made our drinks in paper cups feel holy. Sharing your hurt with safe people in the midst of your mess is a sacred space. Saying “me too” is a reverent cry.
There is something healing and God-ordained when we come alongside each other in our hurts.
As Harriet Lerner writes in The Dance of Connection, “We diminish people when we don’t allow them to help us, or when we act like we don’t need anything from them and they have nothing to offer us.” For years, I ignored the chance to share my feelings with friends because my pride got in the way. Admitting that I didn’t have the answers and that I was a person and not a productivity machine was terrifying to me.
I thought it was better to keep the game face on than to let someone behind the curtain, but God wants better for us: He wants His kids opening up to His other kids, and in turn, sharing in the holy work of community.
Feel your feelings, keep them tethered to God’s perfect love, and ignore your pride by sharing your life with a safe and trusted person.
When we ordered our drinks that morning, my friend and I had no idea that Starbucks would become holy ground. We shared our hurts, and we were reminded of our God-designed humanity. That morning, we shared our lives with the sacred words, “Me too.”