Now that the chocolates have been factored into our figures and the flowers are compost, it's time to revisit the idea of love and our emotions.
Emotions are exquisite, but they can also be trouble. It's nice when you are married and you are in the throes of marital acts, but it's not so nice when you are married and you are in the throes of a throw down. Context is everything. Emotions are beautiful and they are a gift, but they have their place, and it isn't the driver's seat.
|Understanding your inner tractor...|
Let me explain...using an analogy.
Emotions are like a tractor. When a tractor is in gear it will move continually at the same speed in whichever direction its wheels are pointed. This makes it an excellent tool, but it has a tendency to run over squishable stuff if it is not steered and to crash when the brakes are not applied. When the tractor is not controlled, very bad things happen.
Get it? Just like a runaway tractor, a situation can get awfully ugly awfully quickly when someone is running amok.
Emotions are the horsepower to your life. They drive you to succeed, reward you with contentment, bond you to your family. They are powerful and amazing.
Used correctly, fields get plowed, stuff can grow, everybody's fed. Uncontrolled emotions? The plowing and planting can't get accomplished because everyone is focused on damage control and comforting the wounded. Nobody gets fed. Not even the farmer.
When your emotions are beginning to run away with you ask yourself a few questions...
- Am I right or am I right?
Just because you "feel" something doesn't mean it is true. Emotions color our perspective. It is likely that when your emotions aren't driving you, you may see things a little differently. If you aren't already carried away, take the time to really listen to the other person before you lose the opportunity for perspective.
- How now? Holy Cow!
Is your situation at hand too much for you to add to? Can you reschedule this emotionally charged discussion when the kids don't have the stomach flu? Say...next Tuesday?
- Pray on your prey
If your emotions are still running the show, take a second to say a quick prayer for this person who is driving you crazy. It can only help the situation. If you are being unkind or unfair, it can help you see that. In turn, if you are being manipulated, you may find that prayer gives you enough grace to put a stop to it. Prayer is so much more powerful than counting to 10. It'll remind you to be a Christian, even when you are not feeling Christian.