Inviting You Deeper: Be Real

May 3, 2020

This week’s post comes from my dear friend and ministry colleague, Stephanie Clouatre Davis.  Follow Stephanie on Facebook, Instagram, and on her website, speakingstephanie.com. 

I feel I have a stony heart. You would not believe this  if you met me, though. Many people think I am optimistic and driven; but, like many, the image I project is a well-developed optimistic stone wall painted with flowers and sunshine that hides my true feelings. True hope as my friend Becky often reminds me, “starts with the real.” But I am not great at being real. I often encourage everyone around me, including my two teenage girls, to always “look on the bright side.” Too much time on the bright side, though, often leads us plummeting to the dark side. When we give our hopeless emotions permission for natural release they do not build up. The real always finds a way out. 

Sometimes, it is not alright. We are in a dimly lit space right now. The long shadows of darkness seem to be everywhere by the questions we keep asking: 

When will we return to work? 

When will my kids see their friends again? 

What will I do now that I have lost my job?

How will I deal with my sickness?

In this time of pandemic, I believe we must be honest with our feelings. In choosing to be honest with our own feelings, we give our children, friends, colleagues, and family the freedom and permission to choose the same. 

I invite you to use the feeling chart, adapted from Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions, to name the honest feelings you feel today. Click here to download a .pdf handout of the image and prayer. 

Name what you are actually feeling: 

Start with the inside of the circle chart from the basic feeling.  Work your way out to gain clarity about what you are feeling. Move further and further out to describe more specifically what you are feeling.  We may need to name more than one feeling.  We are complex beings and sometimes more than one feeling can rise in us. 

Bring this feeling to God:  

Once you have named that feeling, go underneath the feeling, lift it in prayer to God naming why this feeling has risen in you. Do not assume that you understand why. Ask God to reveal to you why this feeling has come. Spend time with God journaling or in quiet contemplative prayer. 

Hope has a rising action. Hope is not plucked and consumed, it rises out of something dark and shadowed.  Hope starts with the real. Hope is a rising action that often comes out of naming where we actually are and bringing that honest feeling to God.

Go Deeper?  

The Inner Chapel: My New Book!

  • My new book, The Inner Chapel: Embracing the Promises of God is now available! As a sincere “Thank You!” to all of you for your support, my publisher has extended a 30% off code for orders and preorders through August 13. Simply go to Loyolapress.com/innerchapel and use promo code 5207. You can also pre-order from Barnes and Noble and from Amazon for Kindle and paperback.
  • SHARE WITH US: We would LOVE to see a picture of your reading The Inner Chapel. Please post a picture of you enjoying the book on your social media and tag my Becky Eldredge page on facebook or @beldredge98 on Instagram or Twitter.
  • Read an excerpt from The Inner Chapel: My chapter called Suffering Makes us Compassionate is perfect for all that is going on in the world currently.

Stephanie Clouatre Davis graduated from Loyola University New Orleans. Stephanie speaks to adults and teens around the nation at parishes, high schools, and dioceses in various venues including retreats and conferences. With humor, joy, and stories, Stephanie not only fully engages her audiences but also inspires them to challenge themselves and build a stronger relationship with God. She lives in Covington, Louisiana with her husband Michael and two girls Emma and Abby.

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