Reacting vs. Responding

I have started reading Lysa Terkeurst’s new book: Unglued and I have to say, I could have used that book years ago!! It’s an amazing book and I’ve only read the first few chapters. I recommend it to anyone.

We  have emotions because they show how we’re feeling without having to say any words. What complicates things is that everyone processes their emotions differently! For me, I’m an internal processor which means that I like to take some time to myself to think about things before I express them. On the other hand, someone else may process differently and if something happens and they don’t process like I’m used to, I think something is wrong. Learning everyone processes differently has been key to handling my own emotions.

Being a girl comes with a lot of stereotypes. One of those is that we are overly emotional and complicated. Well, while that may be true, I don’t want to be categorized as that anymore. I want to control my emotions and learn to respond to the situation instead of reacting. Sometimes my emotions jump ahead of my brain and react to the situation before my brain can tell them that it’s not a big deal and it’s going to be okay.That is what I’m learning to control. It can be the smallest thing that makes me irritated and I react to it FIRST instead of taking a deep breath and realizing it’s okay. I then find myself awake at night not being able to sleep because I am replaying how I spoke to so-and-so feeling guilty and so now I have to apologize. It’s a vicious cycle I get myself in and now I want out before I destroy the relationships around me.

“God gave me emotions so I could experience life, not destroy it” (Lysa Terkeurst). I am learning how to do this but it’s not going to happen overnight. Slowly I am learning how to trust people with my emotions and know that they just want to help me through whatever I am going through. But, they don’t know what I’m going through unless I tell them. They can’t read my mind and I’m sure it makes them feel less important if they feel like I don’t want to let them in. We were created to be relational and not go through life alone. Once I realized how I used to deal with my emotions I can then being to move forward one baby step at a time toward handling them the right way. Hooray for emotions!! 

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