Acting My Way Into Feeling

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do

Photo/KarenJordanI’m about to do one of the hardest things I’ve done recently—WRITE!

“What? How can that be?” you ask. “You’re a writer! Isn’t that what writers do?”

I wish I could tell you what’s keeping me from doing what I need to do. But I don’t have any answers at this point.

In fact, I’m not even sure I have anything of substance to offer anyone now. But I’m just going to write—and hope something helpful surfaces. Anything is better than nothing at this point.

After church this morning, I confessed to my husband that I hadn’t really felt like going to church today and entering into worship. But I did. And I’m glad I did—the sermon really spoke to my heart. Thanks, Pastor Shawn.

I’m also reminded what I learned years ago in a behavior modification class at seminary, “You must act your way into feeling.”

At first, I didn’t have a clue what the professor meant by that statement. But I tried it, and it worked.

For instance, I NEVER feel like doing housework. But I ALWAYS feel good about finishing my work.

So, that’s what I’m doing right now. Writing—even though I do NOT feel like writing. And in the process, I hope and pray the feeling and the words begin to flow again.

Have you ever faced this problem? Maybe you’re not a writer, and you don’t get it. But perhaps there is another issue you might be struggling with in your work or even at home.

Maybe you want to be happy or thankful, but you just can’t conjure up those positive emotions right now. Or perhaps you just don’t “feel” like being anyone’s mom right now—but you ARE a mom.

Maybe you don’t have any romantic feelings toward your spouse anymore. I’ll share what a pastor advised one man who claimed he didn’t love his wife anymore. This wise counselor simply quoted a scripture to this battle-weary warrior.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her . . . (Eph. 5:25 NIV).

Do you see his point? God’s Word reveals that love is a choice, not a feeling.

So, maybe—just maybe—we can experience joy and thankfulness as we make the decision to be happy or grateful.

What about writing? Well, I’ve learned that often, I really don’t “feel” like writing. And many times I must just to do what I don’t “feel” like doing.

So, I guess I’ll just repeat the words of a wise writing instructor to myself once again, “JUST WRITE!”

By the way, I hope my confession encourages you today to do whatever you need to do if you’re stuck!

And another thing—be blessed!

Tell us about a time when you had to act your way into feeling? Share your experience in the comments below or on my Facebook page





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4 thoughts on “Acting My Way Into Feeling

  1. Housework, paperwork, and the things I really, really want or need to accomplish, but sometimes either just hate doing it or fear failure if I try, are just a few of the things I must act my way into feeling. People who know and like or love me, but have to depend on me all have one common irritating complaint. Only a few have actually been honest enough to say, “When you say you are going to do something, DO IT!!”

    I am an idea person, thinking outside the box. I see a cool project on Pinterest, and start it, think too much over it, start another one, and another one, and then it gets to be overwhelming and I finally go back to the first one and finish, then the second…and I finish, but in my own time and to the irritation of anyone watching.

    When in college, if I was assigned a ten page paper, and all the other students were complaining they would never be able to come up with enough to fill ten pages, I would already be writing in my head, and continue doing that over the next few days, find the research and info needed, write it all on bits of paper and put it all in “the pile” and finally, on the night before it was due, I would put it all together, all twenty pages. And then, breaking it down to ten pages, writing the bibliography, and finally, the outline, usually just before class, I would complete it. Most of them resulted in an A, but the path I took to get there, to everyone around me, was nuts.

    Losing weight, or just exercising every day, which always makes me feel great, is another one of those things I need to act my way into doing.

    That is a really simple statement Karen. I think it makes sense. It’s a no brainer, easy to remember, and easy to tell myself. I think I will steal that one. I will let you know how it goes. I didn’t feel like writing today, but I did, right here. It wasn’t that hard.

    It feels great!!!

    Thanks again!!

    • Oh, my goodness–I could have written your comment. I’m not kidding! Keep me posted on your writing progress. And I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this subject in the future. It seems to be an everyday problem with me these days. Thanks for your comment!