Daisy Petal Love

Daisy Petal Love

If only our emotions were as easy as picking petals off a daisy. But then again, if love could be determined by which petal was last, it wouldn’t really be love, would it? But what happens when emotions aren’t so easy to decipher?

There is such a fine line between acknowledging our emotions and feelings as legitimate and being governed by them all together. I’ve found that it’s rare to find someone who has achieved a healthy medium. It seems that either people are completely overcome by every emotional mole hill or totally ignore the mountain they keep bumping into. While I don’t think I’m completely one or the other, I have a tendency to err on the side of “ignorance is bliss” until I’m hit upside the head with an unexpected strong emotional experience which I find myself sadly ill equipped to process.

This has happened recently. There’s been this little annoying emotion that’s been creeping around for a few years that finally decided it was tired of being ignored. So, every time I have a spare unoccupied mental moment “it” decides to pop up for some free air time. It’s become annoying enough that I’ve been trying to figure out an appropriate course of action. How do you properly process unwanted emotions so that you can healthily move on with your life? Out of sheer necessity, here’s what I’ve come up with:

1.”Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Prov. 4:23. This is so hard to do with balance and discernment. Why do we need balance and discernment? Well, as much as it’s important to guard our hearts, we don’t want to be closed off emotional icicles. God has given us emotions, feelings, and a heart of flesh for a reason, we just need to be careful who’s on the receiving end of these good things. I think the balance is to in fact be guarded, not necessarily with full fledged battlements, but with caution. Give people a chance to earn your love and affection before throwing it at anyone who moves. Exhibit a little mystery and be worth the effort of someone trying to figure you out.

2. “…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” 2 Cor. 10:5b. This is a well known verse, but while it’s quoted often rarely have I heard practical steps on how to do this. Does this mean we must immediately squash any thought that isn’t a Bible verse? That’s what I used to think (and it was incredibly discouraging!). But I realized that trying not to think about something generally makes me think about it more. Rather, I’ve found thinking about it in the light of Christ to be much more effective. So it goes something like this: A thought runs across my mind that I don’t think is either right or productive. So, I capture it and ask God to show me His truth about that thought. In the light of Christ’s truth, is this thought true? Sin? Helpful or harmful? What is the right way to approach this thought? So, instead of letting that thought have free reign in your imagination, leading to who knows what, you have captured it, thought about it in a true and accurate way, and are able to move on hopefully unscathed.

3. Watch your language! Matt. 12:34b says,”…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” I’ve found that what I say, even (or perhaps especially) when “joking” or being “sarcastic”, can be a pretty good indication of my true feelings on a topic. I’ve also found that if I don’t allow myself to repeat negative thoughts I have, but counter them with positive ones, I can over time overhaul the thoughts and emotions I don’t want to posses. It takes a little effort, but it’s amazing what you can talk yourself into or out of!

4. Give it some time. 1 Cor. 13:12 says, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” There are things in our lives that we don’t see clearly, our perspective is skewed. And, while we may never fully understand everything that happens to us in our lives, often time lends clarity to the past. If nothing else, we can learn from our mistakes.

I was listening to a Caedmon’s Call song this morning and this lyric jumped out at me, “Cause you can’t just turn it off, and put a blindfold on your heart. But I’m off to a good start… love is different than you think” It struck me as true, our emotions don’t have a switch, but as wisely stated in the movie Fireproof, You can’t just follow your heart. Your heart can be deceived. You have to lead your heart.”

So here’s to heading the right direction in 2012! Salute!

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MAC