For the sake of reminiscing and reviewing God’s work in my life, sometimes I look back to the past. There are instances when I’m thankful and in a good place to do this. I wind up writing warrior blogs and high-fiving strangers, whooping and hollering “Shekinah Glory” and doing movements with my hips. This is somewhat normal for me.
Sometimes that is not the case… and maybe you can relate. I look back, cringe, facepalm, and listen to emo music. No no no no no. And the emotions flood and confusion flares, as regret and shame invade like gremlins coming out of the sink and toilet. Good visual? I thought so.
I think it’s somewhat normal for us all, human people, to have times when our emotions flood. How we handle ourselves in those times is really important. There’s always room to grow and improve. We have to be humble enough to admit that we are works in progress. I wanted to share what helps me, and I’d love to hear your suggestions and what you’ve learned about how to come back from an emotional mood.
In times like these, this is what I do to regain control without suppressing my emotions:
1) I count my blessings. Yes, the thankful game. Jesus, I’m thankful that my hair feels really soft right now. Thanks for my new glasses. Thanks that I have a job. Thanks for my sweet coworkers who truly care about me. Thanks for Twitter and for subtweets of utmost cuteness. It’s hard to lose footing when we stand on gratitude.
2) I declare the facts. I am someone who makes good decisions. I am someone who does things right the first time around, to the best of my ability. My actions and my character align. I am responsible and able. I am thoughtful and loving. I am accountable. I trust who I was in the past to have made the best decisions I could have made with the amount of wisdom I had at the time. I forgive myself for any poor outcomes of my decisions made with good intentions and good faith. See how good these facts are? Freedom facts. Truth helps out a lot. You’re probably not a jerk.
3) I inventory my emotions. What am I feeling right now? Why am I feeling like this? How do I actually feel about the big picture? Are any of these emotions valid or am I caught up in a flurry of emotion, dramatically building an ice castle with all my pent-up feelings? Am I Queen Elsa? These are all important questions to ask oneself.
4) I align my emotions with the facts. Sometimes this looks a lot like listing out what went wrong in the past, and my role in it, and asking Jesus where He stood in the situation. Most of the time, I figure out that I need to forgive people again. And again. My emotions go haywire sometimes because I hit a new layer of unforgiveness that was hidden deep. It happens, and it means I’m growing.
5) I forgive out loud. Jesus, I forgive so-and-so for what they did. Surely they didn’t intend to cause such a mess in my life. And if they intended to do that, Jesus, You do Your thing and You deal with them how You see fit. I hand them over to You. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, right Lord? I receive that promise.
6) I put things back where they go. Okay, it’s time to put the past back in the past. I am a different person now. I have new people in my life who love me well and encourage me. I have great friends and family. I have learned much from the faceplants and mistakes of the past. I am not caught in a cycle, because these things go in the past. I have no regret that goes unredeemed. Jesus is King and my past is behind me.
7) I redirect my thoughts. Now, I will think about _______. Find something wholesome to think about and think about it. If you’re drawing a blank, think about a river. Rivers are cool and usually safe to think about, yeah? Or the ocean? Mountains? Just go somewhere scenic, like Pride and Prejudice, and escape to a green cliff, with beautiful crescendos as the breeze lightly touches your face. Boom. Way to regain your brain.
Afterwards, I usually find myself breathing and smiling. I get back to being giddy and excited about what is real and true. I’ve had to make a lot of comebacks from flurrytown, so I hope this helps you when you’re in a frenzy and you’re caught up there. This is how I calm down from a disastrous lookback. I pray for emotional maturity for you. May the peace of Christ guard your mind. He says great things of us. He is proud of us. As we learn to align with His mind, we take back all that the enemy stole.
If you’re struggling emotionally or in your thought life and want extra prayer, I would love to be praying for you. Feel free to contact me on the ‘Contact Me’ tab, or you can leave a comment below if you don’t mind others seeing it.