Do you ever feel like you are at the mercy of an emotional runaway train? Maybe it’s just me. But if you dare to admit that you too have been known as that “emotional train wreck” at one point or another, then this is for you.
So what’s the deal with these things called emotions anyway? Sometimes they seem to be an annoying part of life that get in the way of everything. There are those who by nature are not very emotional, and there are those who seem to feel every emotion to the deepest extreme.
The problem is that neither extreme is really all that effective.
So let’s talk about the purpose of emotions a bit.
First, emotions are a great indicator of being human. You’re welcome. Emotions are indicators, they speak to us regarding situations. They tell us if something needs to change, or they tell us that things are pretty awesome and we are doing something right. Think of them as a temperature gauge, if you will.
The problem is, our temperature gauge isn’t always accurate. Yeah, I know. Dumb.
We tend to believe that emotions are triggered by a specific person, place or situation. But reality is, it’s broken down a little deeper than that. It’s our interpretation and coinciding beliefs of the person, place, situation or even ourselves, that triggers the emotion. If we can learn to take a step back and start to challenge or put the interpretation on trial, then we can begin to manage our emotions and not be at the mercy of emotional crazy train.
So what I want to give you is some few practical steps to hopefully help bring some balance to it all.
1.Weigh the Evidence
So when that triggering event happens, we have to first identify “What is my interpretation right now?” Most the time these are irrational, fear driven interpretations. So now we have take that interpretation and put it on trial. Like with any trial, we have to check and weigh the evidence. If we take our emotions out of it, what are the black and white facts about the interpretation? Is it possible that there is more to the story than what we see in the moment? Do we need to ask more questions before responding out of emotion?
The biggest challenge to this is we have to be willing to consider that maybe, just maybe, we are.. ugh.. wrong. I am warning you, this one involves being brutally honest with yourself and owning your own shit for a little bit.
2. Notice the thoughts or internal picture of how you want to react.
We’ve all seen it in the movies where the character is imagining jumping across a table and smacking someone around. We play that same internal picture. You don’t have to fight it, notice it and play the tape through. I mean sure, smacking that annoying coworker may feel great in the moment, but the outcome is probably not going to be effective for your life.
3. Make a decision.
Now that you know what you are interpreting it as, have challenged or validated the emotion, noticed what you want to do, you are now equipped to make a decision, but you have to own it. That’s the scary part about this step. There are always going to be consequences (wanted or unwanted). We either regret what we did out of emotion or we are glad we didn’t react a certain kind of way. But no matter what, the decision is ultimately yours.
Of course these are not changes that are made overnight and will take plenty of practice before becoming a new way of thought. But the first step to making changes is self awareness! Now that you know, you know!
Comment below and let us know how this works for you!
I think one of the biggest myths we often buy into about this Christian walk is that we are magically going to transform into this majestic, holy being with all the answers to life instantly downloaded the moment we become Christian. But alas, there is no Holy Spirit pixie dust that does that!
See, if you want to grow spiritually, you need to be willing to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Every stretch past our comfort zone is an opportunity to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to this faith we say we have. There’s a difference between saying we believe something and actually living out what we say we believe.
We read in scripture that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). What James is telling us is that there is no point in going around talking about what you believe, listening to every sermon you can or reading every scripture about faith if you are not actually going to APPLY it!
Faith is not meant to just shine on Sundays, and it is not meant to just be declared when life is good. It’s meant to be lived out in even the littlest of things- through doubt, tears, frustration and even discouragement. Quite often we don’t REALLY believe what God says about us. I mean, in order to do so we would have to confront our beloved comfort zones, because we serve a God whose specialty is doing things above anything we can ask, think or imagine! He’s kind of an overachiever like that!
Do you believe that you are priceless? Do you believe that you are truly a gift to this world? Do you believe that you can really see your dreams come true? Well you are. I know it because HE says so, and we are in a season where He is birthing a new season in His beloved daughters to know Him so deeply that it breaks down every fear and doubt.
Ladies, it’s time to find your voice! It’s time to kick fear in the face! It’s time to step into the plans and purposes that you were created for!
So I am sitting here on the front porch of the place I’m staying in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. It’s about noon, it’s warm and a little humid but the breeze hits this spot just right. It’s so quiet all I hear is the leaves blowing and the crickets chirping…with an occasional car that goes by.
This weekend I moved my first born and only son into college, 1,910 miles away from home. Oh yes, you better believe I mapped it. Everyone has been telling me I am going to cry my eyes out…I have heard “Get ready for the waterworks.”, etc., and sure I have shed a couple tears here and there, but the opening of the floodgates hasn’t really come. Some have told me, “Just wait, it will.”, and maybe it will, but I don’t think so.
I am not trying to be tough or say crying is a bad thing, but God has showed me something very powerful in this short weekend. Letting go is a beautiful thing. In fact, it’s the most powerful thing you can do because it allows God to release a whole different level of intimacy with Him into your life, and those you love.
After I said my goodbyes to my son, and got about a million “just one more” hugs, I came back to my room and reflected those moments with him. Every time a tear came, I heard this soft whisper ask me “Why are you crying?”. I tried to answer but realized, though there was an ache in my heart knowing he would not be under my roof anymore, I wasn’t sad.
You see, in letting go, this is where you put your money where your mouth is when it comes to trusting God. Not just when it comes to your kids, but in that area of whatever it is you are holding on to. I think I have cried more out of the gratefulness in my heart as I have seen everything fall into place, than out of sadness.
There is no logical way that my son should be able to go across the country to chase his dreams. But through his own perseverance, the financial support of family and friends, here we are. (Which by the way, if you are reading this, all his graduation money is going towards what he has left to pay for tuition, so you are TRULY a part of his journey!) Even the places we have stayed in Michigan have introduced us to people who have offered to be a familiar face to my son, just so he knew he was not all alone.
Every time I pray for my son, with a whole list of “please God ______”, I am reminded that there is nothing I can ask that He has not already taken care of, and He reminds me of all I have already seen. There is no greater peace that comes than the realization that you have been in the safe hands of the Father all this time. You can’t even really pray to ask Him to carry you because you realize that He already has been! That’s like ordering your breakfast after it’s already been placed in front of you!
I have laid the foundation for my son, it is his time to grow and encounter God for himself in this season. The excitement in that far outweighs any ache in my heart!
In letting go, we could be afraid of all the “what if’s” but wouldn’t you rather kick those in the face and embrace all of the possibilities our heavenly Father has in store? That’s what it is all about! Faith isn’t faith if you insist on being in control. God can do so much more with your hands OFF than He can with your hands on something. The fear of falling will always come knocking at your door, but you don’t have to answer that. Instead, embrace the possibility of flying and watch as He leads you to soar!