I consider myself to be an emotional person. I cry when I hear a sad story or watch a sad movie. I can be overly excited and enthusiastic, but I can also be very sad and melancholy. This can happen in the span of a month, week or even a day.
Anyone else riding the emotional roller coaster with me?
The other day my husband said something out of the blue that stung. (This particular comment was in relation to a topic that is very sensitive to me) I don’t know about you, but when this happens I usually am very hurt and then become angry and defensive.
The ones that we love are the ones that can hurt us the most. Conversely, the ones we love are the ones we hurt the most.
The beauty of emotions (even when we are dealing with hurt and sadness) is that they are the thermometers of our hearts.
We tend to over react when we are “too hot”and under react when we are “too cold”.
However, a lack of emotional response results in us internalizing those negative feelings (and that isn’t good either!)
How do we know if we are “too hot” or “too cold”?
Taking your emotional temperature starts with being aware of our thoughts.
Once we can trace our emotional response back to a thought we have rooted in what we believe about ourselves, we have a greater understanding of why we reacted the way we did.
When I know WHY I am feeling a certain way, I can regulate the strong emotions that God gives me.
In my example with my husband, Instead of reacting, I took a “time out” and examined the situation to determine the cause of my reaction. What thought and belief about myself did his comment trigger?
He had triggered the thought of “I’m not good enough”. This particular belief about myself is something I constantly have to battle against.
(Side note: You know when you have a blister and your shoe constantly rubs up against that blister? Yeah, that comment triggered that little tricky sore spot the enemy likes to rub when given the chance.)
Not only does our understanding of where our response is coming from help us process our emotions, but we are able gain an understanding of what the other person is thinking and feeling.
Not only did I realize my core belief about myself, but I was overcome with grace and mercy for my husband when I realized what his core belief about himself is.
“How critical he is being of me, Wow, this must be how critical he is of himself”.
Gaining insight into how my husband sees himself allowed me to see where his comment was really coming from. His critical statement was just the overflow of the critical heart he has towards himself.
“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” Luke 6:45
Gaining God’s perspective always leads to Greater understanding.
The wonderful thing is that when we grow emotionally, we also grow spiritually. Our emotions are our spiritual thermometers. They are the gift that He has given us that allow us to check in regularly with ourselves.
When we are spending time with God daily we are neither too hot or too cold, and the roller coaster we are on becomes more like the train you ride around the amusement park.
This is why getting our emotions in check and learning how to process them in a healthy way is so important.
We need to remember to take that “time out” to read our “emotional thermometer” and observe what needs adjusted.
Questions to ask when taking our “Emotional Temperature:
What does your reaction say about your core belief about yourself?
How did the belief lead to a thought that created your response?
Ask God to also reveal the other person’s beliefs. How can you season your response with grace?
Sweet friends I am delighted to offer an opportunity to continue down the path of emotional growth! I am leading a FREE Facebook group that is a 14 week study on how to process your emotions in a healthy way by learning how to change your beliefs about yourself and implement spiritual disciplines that will foster your spiritual growth.
This group is starting the week of January 23, and I would be so excited to have you jump on board! Please click HERE for more information!
Blessings sweet friends!
This post is part of our Turn the Mic Tuesday guest post
Stephanie Miller, Personal and Spiritual Growth Coach