Never allow me to give you the impression that everyday is rainbows and sunshine–we all know that’s not reality. I struggle as much as the next person, and I have to renew my commitment to God, myself, and my health on a daily (if not minute-by-minute) basis.
We all have days where we want to eat everything in sight.
We all have days where we want to sit in our pajamas and not do a single thing.
We all have days where we want to lash out in anger and speak the words that spill off our tongue that haven’t filtered through common sense yet.
We all have rough days.
So did Jesus. And He made it through without sin.
Can I? Not all days. I’m not perfect. And that’s okay. On the days I fall short, I need to explore those shortcomings and examine my behavior–what could have been a better reaction? Is there something I need to amend in this situation? What can be done better next time? What have I learned?
No one likes self-examination, it’s not fun. We don’t like looking at the yucky stuff and the areas of ourselves that need a little bit of work still. And I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s rough when you can see changes in people when they can handle things differently/better than they used to and you are still stuck in your old ways.
I had a situation last week where husband and I were blindsided with something unexpected. He encountered it first, and came home and told me what happened and how he handled the situation. I was really pleased to see that he had a constructive reaction to something where he had the potential to be ugly. I, however, did not have as constructive of a reaction to the situation that he did…I went off my rails a bit, and while it was in the privacy of our home and just conversation between the two of us, I was ugly when I didn’t need to be. I was a lot of different emotions and let those speak for me instead of stepping back and looking at the situation. I went from boiling point to still simmering, but got smart enough to consult a wise friend on the situation who suggested a solution. I knew that I was still too volatile to take the action, so I needed to let some time pass. That evening, still rather worked up, I started to journal it out in a letter to God. I was able, in three long pages, to work out my emotions in why I was so worked up and angry, find the things in me that felt threatened (not an easy admission), and also come to terms with the struggles that the other side of the situation may or may not face. I can’t say that I was completely at peace at that point, but I was able to get out of my head and be present again in current reality, taking responsibility for my feelings and actions.
The next morning I was in a (mostly) better frame of mind to take the action that my wise friend suggested, and that was hard–to state the facts as facts and (mostly) keep my emotions out of it. I took the action, and then I had to let it drop. I had to come to conscious realization that I had done everything I could do in the situation and passed it along to where it would be handled appropriately. Now was a time for choices–I could continue to dwell on it, or let it go. I would love to tell you I let it go completely, but I can say that my thoughts and feelings about the situation diminished and while it took a couple days, I came to a point of acceptance. The situation had the potential to still affect us, but even if it did, we had done all we could and should do, and whatever happened would happen.
Here’s the other side of this too…with my personality, I have the capacity to take the simple situations and have them complicate every area of my life. While something is taking up real estate in my mind, it also has other consequences like making me think I’m hungry when I’m not, trick me into justifying food choices I don’t need to be making, and a whole host of other “stuff.” Essentially, wanting to harm someone else by taking the poison myself.
So, here’s my take away from the situation above: Did I handle the situation well? Yes and no. My initial reactions were not positive, but taking deliberate actions to slow down and handle said situation in a different way than my emotions dictated was a positive step forward. Is there anything I need to amend? No, because in the end, the result of the situation was handled by the person that needed to handle the situation–and that wasn’t me. What can be better next time? Take a deep breath and slow down from the start, don’t allow things to get me so worked up. What have I learned? I still have work to do on handling the unexpected, but I can see improvement in my behavior and will keep moving forward. Also, I can get through tough situations without giving in to the lies in my mind that tell me food will make me feel better. It won’t. It simply creates more issues that cover up the primary concern.
I may not have reacted like Jesus would have, but I’m learning to seek the Father in finding the ways that I can react in a more Christ-like manner to the tough stuff. We’re all a work in progress…some days are rainbows and sunshine, and some days aren’t. Life sure is interesting!