In the life of Jesus Christ, we find an example of willingness to face emotion. Jesus knew His hour of crucifixion was drawing near. He had gone to the Mount of Olives along with His disciples, where He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:41-44).
Jesus had a strong relationship with His Father. Jesus knew that He could pour out His heart to His Father without fearing judgment; He had confidence in His Father’s love. Within the safety of a strong attachment, we are willing to take risks and be vulnerable; we are willing to let our real selves be seen.
Remember, Jesus faced his emotions so should we. An essential part of maturing is the capacity to feel mixed emotions. However, at times we find ourselves so deeply wounded that our only desire is to escape emotion. The tragedy is that we begin to escape feelings we find difficult to handle; we also forgo enjoying positive emotions to their full extent.
Addiction is one of the ways in which we numb our capacity to feel. Many people use substances to change the way they feel. Unfortunately, no substance can fulfil the attachment void, and only provides temporary soothing. An essential component of overcoming addiction is the ability to get in touch with the turmoil of feelings and become less dependent on temporary attachment fixes. We need the safety net of relationship within which we can take risks and begin to sit with emotions that generally send us running for a quick fix.
Like Jesus, are we willing to turn to God in prayer and let ourselves be seen or are we trying to pretend that all is well? Temporary quick-fixes will leave us thirsting for more, but we can bravely go to God, and trusted people, with our wounded hearts and begin to heal.