We’ve all had…and will probably have again at some point…times or seasons in life where we are “just not feeling it”. Both in our relationships with each other, and our relationship with God. We just don’t feel like connecting, we don’t feel like working on what needs to be worked on, we don’t feel like we have the energy needed to move forward, etc. We are “just not feeling it”.
These are not bad feelings. We are human, and thus we get tired or burnt out or can begin grow weary. It’s natural to have times where we just don’t have the energy needed to do something, or our feelings aren’t behind what we know we need to do. We’ve all experienced that before, and most likely will experience it again at some point.
However, that doesn’t mean we settle down in that feeling and decide to be ok in that state of mind. Yes, it is natural and will happen…but we also need to work to move beyond those times and feelings. Working through them can help us grow in our emotional and spiritual maturity, it can help us develop stronger connections with those we are close to, and it can teach us a lot of life lessons we might not of otherwise learned.
The question is, what do we do when we are in the middle of this state of mind and just don’t feel like doing what is needed to move through, grow from, and work out of it? There are 4 things we can do that help, whether we are struggling with “just not feeling it” in our relationships with other people, or our relationship with God.
Admit and identify how you are feeling
This seems pretty cliché, but it’s really not. The first step to working through anything is to admit and identify what you are struggling with and in need of working through. This means if we are struggling in a relationship with other people, we admit and identify that. If we are struggling in our relationship with God, we do the same thing…admit and identify how we feel.
It’s dangerous to pretend like we aren’t struggling, or to just ignore the struggle. We have to admit it, and we have to identify what it is. That keeps us honest with our self, and will serve to help us know what we need to do to work through it.
Make a plan to work through it, and be intentional
Once we admit and identify what we are struggling with or how we are feeling, then we need to come up with a plan of some kind to work our way through it. This is where identifying what we are struggling with comes into play, because when we identify it we can then make specific and practical steps to combat that struggle. If, for example, I’m struggling in a relationship with my wife, I’m not going to set up steps to help me work on my relationship with my kids. Yes I should also make sure my relationship with my kids is good, but I need to set up steps that are specific to dealing with the relationship that I’m struggling with. This is true of all different scenarios and examples I could use.
If we’re struggling with “just not feeling it” in our relationship with God, we need to set up specific steps to work through that. Too often we begin to avoid the things we need the most when we have this struggle, because we are “just not feeling it”. However, to avoid what is needed only serves to make the struggle bigger. Rather than avoiding those things, we need to make sure we are continuing in them despite how we feel. Don’t feel like reading the Bible? Then make sure you are more focused on setting aside time to do so, and be intentional about it. Same thing with prayer, going to church, and other spiritual disciplines. Don’t avoid them when you’re not feeling it, be intentional to continue them in your life. Doing so will help you work though this phase of just not feeling it concerning those things.
If we’re struggling with “just not feeling it” in an important relationship with another person, employ the same tactics as mentioned above. Don’t avoid what is necessary for that relationship to grow, strengthen, and flourish. Rather, be intentional about making sure you set aside time to continue those things in your relationship. To avoid them only serves to make the struggle bigger, and will cause the state of “just not feeling it” to last longer. On the flip side, to continue to make those things a priority in your relationship will help you work through this phase, as well as strengthen the relationship.
Talk to someone
We don’t have to struggle through this alone. In fact, we shouldn’t. We should find someone to talk to about how we are feeling and what we are struggling with. Talking to someone else gives us release of the struggle as we share it, and we are able to hear another perspective of our struggle. Too often when we struggle, all we focus on is the struggle and our feelings about it. It helps a TON to hear thoughts about our struggle from another person who can give us a different perspective. This helps us work through the struggle, and might even be just what is needed to pull us out of it.
I once heard Francis Chan talking about contentment. He talk about how the best way to learn to be content isn’t to continually tell yourself over and over to be content. Rather, the best way to learn to be content is to spend time around people who have less than you do. When we do this, it gives us a new and better perspective, and contentment becomes an attitude of our heart rather than trying to just psych our self into it.
That truth is also true for when we are struggling with “just not feeling it”. Get another perspective of your struggle.
Above all else, spend time in prayer. And, I don’t just mean an extra minute or two a day, I mean set aside some significant time to pray through this struggle. Whether it’s a struggle in your relationship with God or with another person, pray through it. Ultimately only God can change our heart, so we need to be going to him consistently through that time.
When you are struggling with “just not feeling it”, don’t freak out about it. Realize it’s natural. However, don’t just remain in that state either, work through it and grow from it.