I enjoyed my time in seminary. While I didn’t get the full experience because I didn’t live on campus, Fuller Theological Seminary is a world-class school that taught me a lot. I could have done without the 8:00am classes and classmates who didn’t really want to ministry but, apart from those small reservations, I thoroughly enjoyed my graduate studies.
I’m pretty sure I had a class called “Loss, Grief and Dying.” It was part of my pastoral counseling classes, in which I learned how to come alongside those in their time of need. When I was a pastor I didn’t necessarily like talking to people after church, but I absolutely loved coming alongside a grieving family. Some of my favorite moments as a pastor were meeting with grieving families and helping them plan a memorial service for their loved one.
I loved being present in those actual moments of loss, grief and dying.
When thinking about those moments and actual loss, it makes me feel silly for how hard I’m taking the Warriors’ loss in the NBA Finals.
I’ve written a lot about the Warriors because, even though I’m a big nerd, I’m a huge fan of sports. I watched at least part of every Warriors game this season, including all 24 of their playoff games. I didn’t just become a fan of the Warriors because of Steph Curry or their amazing season, but I’ve been a fan for years. I’m happy to have had so many people come on board this season, because now I have more people with whom I can share my pain.
The way people reached out to me after the Warriors lost on Sunday, you would think that I had experience an actual loss. Even though I know I didn’t actually lose anything, I still feel like I did.
I woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday after the loss and couldn’t fall back asleep because I kept thinking about what went wrong in the game.
I avoided Twitter on Monday because there were still too many tweets about the Cavaliers’ win and the Warriors’ loss.
I couldn’t even listen to my favorite NBA podcast, The Starters, because it made me too sad.
Obviously the Warriors losing isn’t a real loss, but it still feels like one. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy over the past few years better understanding my emotions. In the past if I felt something that didn’t make sense, I would tell myself to bury those emotions or push them aside. I was so emotionally stunted, though, that I didn’t think any of my emotions made sense. So I ended up burying all of my emotions.
I’ve done a lot of work to become more emotionally healthy and mature. For me, part of that growth means acknowledging my feelings and experiencing them even when they don’t make sense. So even though I know I shouldn’t be too upset about the Warriors losing, it’s still healthy for me to experience those emotions and be a little sad. I just need to keep those emotions in proper perspective, though, which is helped by the Cubs having the best record in baseball.
How do you do with experiencing your emotions?