Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings…
Today is my first “work day” of the week. I normally get into my office at one of our centers before the women and kids get up; and that is just what I did today. As soon as I got there, one of my staff was already up, prepared to give me the “issues” that happened the one day I was off. That was more than fine because it gave me a head start on some of the things I would have to deal with immediately. As soon as the students were up – there was a line up: this issue; that issue; this happened; what are we going to do about this…” By the time breakfast at the center was over, I had enough on my proverbial plate to feed me for weeks. I “felt” like going home and pulling the covers up over my head, but that option was totally not on the table. So, why did all this bother me today? This day isn’t that much different than any other day. It is because my own personal “feelings monitor” is a bit out of wack. I recently had a death in my family; my husband has been dealing with some serious heart issues and I am tired today. That brings me to my main question: “Why blog about this?” The answer is because, at times, all of us have our “feelings monitors” out of wack, and if we don’t recognize our own stuff, it will negatively affect others and all we do.
The students I have the privilege of working with are precious; and they come to us with some intense struggles. The last thing I would ever want to do is to not listen to them; be out of sorts with them; or deal harshly with them because of my own “stuff”. So, how do I keep from doing this? Not that I have all the answers, but on mornings like these I have a personal protocol that I follow. I…:
- Take a personal inventory. I take a minute to see what is going on with me and acknowledge it.
- Take a personal time out if necessary. Sometimes, a few minutes of just “me and the Lord” time can make a world of difference. Talking to the Lord about how I feel brings incredible relief and perspective.
- Let the people I am around know that if they sense anything being wrong that it is not them. We can sense if someone is tense and can, due to insecurities, think the problem is us. I don’t want the people in my personal life or those I minister to to take on any negative attitude from me.
- Order or reorder my day. If I have been faced with some new challenges – I make a plan and adjust. I call it “Gumbying Out”. Just like that little guy on the old cartoon, I need to be flexible. Knowing that God has my day and that nothing takes Him off guard, I can have peace about any changes I need to make.
- Stay in the moment – not borrowing from tomorrow’s tasks. We can get so anxious because we focus on “tomorrow”, worrying about all that we need to prepare. Realize we can only do what we can do, and leave it there.
- Finally, I have some favorite scriptures I remind myself of: “I have perfect peace when my mind is stayed on Christ”; “I CAN do ALL things through Christ”; “He will never leave or forsake me”…
You may be saying, PJ, I don’t have students that need me today; or ministry to do…. And that may be true. BUT… we all have those in our lives we love; those in our lives whose lives are affected by our behavior. And, in order to be able to give to them, we have to have something to give! We cannot give what we do not have. Our strength comes from the Lord and the way we receive our strength is to first become weak and admit we need His strength – even in dealing with how we feel. One last, very important point: God doesn’t just care about “others” – He cares about you! He cares about how you feel; He sees every tear; knows every pain! And if we allow Him access, He will give us all the comfort and counsel we need. #Godcaresabouthowwefeel