GOD CARES ABOUT OUR EMOTIONS.
God wants us to understand what we are feeling, for he knows that then we will see what we truly need. When we see that need, we can then reach out to Him in mighty prayer, seeking answers to questions. We can ask Him to help us, knowing specifically what the problem is. One reason we do not recognize God's hand in our life more often is that we are unaware of what our needs truly are, and so we don't actually SEE how He is helping us!
The formula looks like this:
Feel an emotion
Understand that emotion
See what we truly need
See what we lack
We become humble
Seek God’s help with that need
See God’s Hand in our lives
Too often we rely only on ourselves. We find that we can't make someone else change. Therefore, we believe that the problem cannot change.
We become victims.
The truth is: We have a choice.
If we truly understand our emotions, we can choose to let God help us.
Problems literally change when we seek solutions supported by God.
Peace is within every circumstance.
We can be filled with God's strength and fullness.
That will allow us to re-solve every problem.
That is peace.
Peace comes from God.
How can we seek God's answers to our emotional challenges? Well, God has given us scriptures that contain His Word. Through examples and stories in the scriptures, we can find patterns that will help us understand our emotions, and see what God's counsel would be to help us in our own emotional challenges.
I am going to be posting a series of articles in this blog. We'll look in the scriptures for passages that can help us understand different feelings that we might have. I think you'll agree - the scriptures can help us navigate any problem that we will face.
The scriptures that I will be using are the following:
The Holy Bible - (I'll reference the King James version)
The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
The Doctrine and Covenants
The Pearl of Great Price
One of the things that happens in overwhelm is that we can’t think clearly!
So as we begin our discussion of OVERWHELM, let’s be wise, and define exactly what the word overwhelm means. Let’s turn to the dictionary.
According to several dictionaries, the word overwhelm came to us from as far back as the 14th Century. It came from the 1400s and is “Middle English” in origin. The word meant, “to turn upside down, or to overthrow.” The imagery is of a boat that is washed over or overturned by a big wave.
I’ve often felt like that. I”m completely thrown off balance by huge waves of “stuff” that I need to do, or find myself swamped with feelings that have completely submerged me into despair, frustration, panic, or fear. This picture represents how I feel in those moments.
I have no idea how many more posts there will be in this series. We will just post until we’re done exploring the topic!
When I ask people if they've been overwhelmed, , they look at me and give me this look that says, “Are you kidding? Who hasn’t been overwhelmed?”
Sometimes someone will say, “Do you mean this week? If it’s Monday morning, maybe I haven’t been overwhelmed yet.”
This cat makes me laugh. This is how I feel when I just don't want to deal with things any more. I'm completely overwhelmed, and just want to quit.
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. The thing is, it’s possible to completely break free of overwhelm. It is possible to live in a state of relaxation and peace. That sounds kind of Utopian, but it isn’t, really. All it takes is a willingness to learn about your emotions, and then it takes what I call a “paradigm shift” to believe that peace can really be possible in any situation.
So I’m going to begin a series of blog posts about the concept of “OVERWHELM.” We’ll discuss what it is, why it impacts us so much, and what we can do to delete overwhelm and feel peace. We can do all this even if our circumstances do not change. (The truth is, though, that when we are in a place of peace, our circumstances do change, often dramatically, for the better.)
So now that we know where we’re going (we’re going to feel peace), how do we get there?
Stay tuned for Part 2.
Before we can really talk about overwhelm, we need to figure out what happens to us IN overwhelm. How would you say that overwhelm impacts you? (If overwhelm did not bother us, it wouldn't be a problem, right? So what happens when you feel overwhelmed?
School is starting this week in our community. For a month now, parents have been shopping back-to-school sales, buying our children their school supplies and clothes to wear. It’s been a busy time of preparing. Now parents can breathe a sigh of relief, right?
Whew. The children are in school.
Unfortunately, that relief isn’t as long-lasting as we’d like. Now we start worrying about a host of other issues.
“What if my child becomes the target of a bully?”
“What if my child can’t keep up with the others in the class? How will that make him/her feel?”
“Will my child like school? Will he/she have friends? (Good friends?)”
“Can my child handle the emotional stress that will come with growing up?”
“Will my child talk to my about his/her concerns, or will they withdraw, and isolate themselves?”
In short, we worry about our children’s emotions. We worry about how they will deal with the emotional strain, stress and tension that we know is out there in their world.
My question, though, is this:
What have you taught your children about emotions?
Do your children know what emotions are, why they have them, and what to do with them?
Most parents have not consciously taught their children about these things, because, quite frankly, most parents do not really understand emotions themselves.
We’ve prepared our children well for the physical aspect of going back to school. We must prepare them emotionally too. If you worry about that, I invite you to take the course, “What to Teach Your Children About Emotions.” Children who are prepared to understand their emotions will not fall apart the minute stress comes. They will know how to make decisions based upon their family values and standards, and not be swayed by emotional appeals or manipulation.
Learn more about our classes, or contact me for a coaching session on this topic. Our kids definitely need this knowledge.
Principle: Emotions lodge in our bodies.
When we feel stress, we feel tension in our bodies, on a physical level. Have you ever really thought about that? Our shoulders might tighten. We might feel a headache coming on. Our teeth clench, or our jaw tightens. We even breathe differently.
In addition to those tightening sensations, our physical bodies change out of being “present” with what is happening to “tightening” to preparing for what we “anticipate” will be happening. I think of it in this way: My body is traveling into the “future” -- but I still have to cope in the present. Of course, I am now having to cope in two dimensions - present, and future -- and that rarely works out well.
Our physical body reacts to what our thoughts dictate. That is what stress "is." If our thoughts are “in the future,” our bodies will react as if the future is now.
What’s the first step to eliminating stress?
The first step, then, is not necessarily to resolve whatever the issue is -- because oftentimes we need time to work through the issue. Things happen. We do not have to resolve the issues, however, while we feel stressed and tight inside.
We need to simply remind ourselves to be fully present -- to ignore the tendency to put ourselves into "another dimension." It's not that we don't plan for the future, but that we manage how we plan.
We can say something like this: "I am going to be present, and function in how things are right now."
Then it is much easier to relax.
We can also say to ourselves, "For five minutes I am going to think about the future, so that I can plan and find out how to prepare, but then I am going to remain in the present while I do those things." That helps us know that we're present, and don't have to be in two places at one time.
Our bodies will be able to calm down, and we will be able to handle the situation more effectively.
Question: When you feel stress, what happens in your body?
Is Doing DIshes a Chore?
I was in a leadership seminar, and the speaker was talking about the importance of personal development. The seminar was very motivational, until………………
She mixed “principle” with “advice.”
“Eliminate unnecessary things from your life,” she said, “so that you have more time to focus on what is really important.”
Agreed - I can see that there would be truth in that statement.
Then she went on to give an example. That is where I began to disagree with her.
One day she realized that every night after dinner, she would be the one washing dishes. She had children that were old enough to wash dishes, and she realized that if her children washed the dishes, she’d have more time to work on other projects.
I can still agree with her there. That’s an “if” realization, and those are very important. It’s at that point that we begin to wonder how we can find things that will work for us.
Then she said, “There’s no reason for me to be the one who has to wash dishes. I shouldn’t have to do all the work.”
That is not principle-based. It’s a conclusion, based on how she views the task of washing dishes.
Our conclusions lead to paradigms (the way we see things).
So she made the choice (and it’s very important to realize that it’s a choice, drawn from the paradigm she is now holding about dishes) to have her children do the dishes “job.”
There is nothing wrong with having children do the dishes. So why would it bother me so much?
Paradigms are not principles.
It bothers me because her conclusion was based on her paradigm. It wasn’t a wrong conclusion - for her. However, the speaker had spoken about this as if it were a principle. It wasn’t.
The presenter’s solution to “self development” focused on how important it was to have her children “support her” and “do the dishes” so that the mother didn’t “have to.”
That’s not a principle.
That was plain, straight, unadulterated advice. It was not principle-based.
Here are what I see as principles:
Here’s what I see as being “advice.”
Remember, ADVICE is not the same thing as a PRINCIPLE.
As we know the “why,” we will find ways to do things that help us reach that goal.
I grew up in a home where my mother was usually in the kitchen. I always knew where to find her, and the kitchen is the first place I would go when I came home from school or activities. I would come into the kitchen, and actually sit on the counter, and talk to my mother for hours. She’d be busy the whole time, and I”d be “lounging” the whole time.
But I’d be talking to my mother about everything. And she would be listening.
Yes, I had my “dishes night”, and “cooking night.” Looking back, though, I realize that I didn’t very often do those things alone -- and honestly, now I see that I didn’t even often do the majority of the work. (Of course - at the time - I would have said that I did “all the work.”) I usually cooked with my mother in the kitchen, helping me. I remember having her ask me, “What would you like me to do next,” and I’d look at the recipe and tell her. My father would usually come into the kitchen after dinner and wipe the dishes for me, as I washed them.
I’m grateful that I grew up in the home that I did.
My mother never “achieved” fame, fortune, or recognition for creating something. She did, however, win a blue ribbon in the State Fair for sewing -- and the project was a dress that she had made for me.
My mother always had a list of “things she would like to do when she had the time,” but I never once felt that she resented having children, or doing tasks around the home. I honestly believed that she enjoyed those things.
I thought my dad wanted to help me with the dishes. (I was right! He did want to help me. That did not mean he liked doing dishes, but dishes were the “product” of being with me.)
Perhaps, partly as a result of that, I also enjoy doing dishes and household chores today. I am almost always in my kitchen, too. It’s by conscious choice. I have had many meaningful conversations with my children as I am working in the kitchen.
The point is not that we should always be in the kitchen,
or that it is wrong to do other things.
The point is that we should be very careful that we distinguish what self development really means to us. Do not let other people tell you what self development has to look like, nor how you have to achieve the goal.
My mother did not choose to work in the kitchen because the kitchen was “filling her need” for personal growth. She chose to work in the kitchen because she wanted to have the result of what working in the kitchen produced. This is the principle. Choose our actions based on "cause and effect." It produced children who would come talk to her, and gave her the time to connect with them. So to her - being in the kitchen was a “strategy” that contributed to what she really wanted to focus on. In all actuality - that was one of her strategies for self-development.
Be very sure we base our “doings” on principles.
It’s important to develop our own strengths and talents.
It just doesn’t always have to look like “having someone else do the dishes.” If we think we have to do it that way, we will be missing the point.
I have been heartbroken over the incidents of shootings inside our schools. Each time, my heart goes out to those who are innocent victims. Along with the rest of the nation, I think about what could be done to ensure that we never have another incident like that again.
One thing really bothers me about all these incidents.
The person responsible for the shooting simply did not know how to understand and resolve his troubled emotions.
Everything in our lives is powered by emotion.
Those shootings, at the very core root, were really a response or result of the turmoil and feelings that person felt “inside”.
Because those emotions were so powerful, and because they were so painful, the person saw no other way to act or respond. Their unresolved emotions were, therefore, guiding their actions. None of these individuals were able to draw on the values of character, integrity, and responsibility as a result.
Emotions lead to action.