Lately I have been thinking about good and bad emotions. Good emotions run the gamut from a simple flash of a decent day to full blown joy. It is easy to see the negative ones. Fear, anger, sadness, anxiety, depression, sorrow….I could go on. To counter these we can use the positive things we don’t often see as emotions: safety, relaxation, strength, gratitude, pleasure, satisfaction, friendship, kindness, and assertiveness. (From the article How to Tap into Your Light by Kalia Kelmenson in Spirituality and Health)
Most of these we don’t equate with emotion and so we don’t key into them. We don’t see them as positive emotions. We don’t focus on them. That is a major part of the problem.
I don’t know about you, but I am more likely to come home and relate a story about how uncomfortable I felt doing a mediation than that I did a good job. I let the good feeling be lost in the negative emotion. We tend to hang onto the bad feelings and nurse them. We are unwilling to let them go. Think of how often you have been angry about something and just kept bringing it up in conversation or dwelling on it. For some reason we must enjoy holding on to them.
When we don’t let go we experience physical changes. Negative emotions can cause an increase in heart rate and rise in blood pressure. They can decrease our resistance to disease and lower the ability of our immune system to function. They allow our bodies to attack us with autoimmune diseases such as lupus, asthma, ulceration colitis, migraines and irritable bowel. Oh, what we do to ourselves.
We have to learn to focus on the positive emotions and use them to overcome the negative ones. To do that we need to remember what they are and see them when they come. The list above can be added to I’m sure. It’s easy to see how we think when I realized that I had to find that list and couldn’t just come up with one from my head but the negative emotions were right on the tip of my tongue.
I think the most important piece is to be aware of what you are feeling. We can’t change it if we can’t recognize it.
As the song writer Johnny Mercer said “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative!”
Do you ever have a day where you struggle to know where you belong? I have been at sea for over a year. I know that there is something somewhere that will fulfill this need I have to use the skills that God has given me over the years. I am working toward mediating for court cases but I don’t know if this is where I belong. The problem is that I don’t seem to belong anywhere.
It is a terrible thing to spend a lifetime acquiring skills that can be used to make peoples lives better and be unable to use them. In the last few weeks I have had some situations arise where I know that my ability to navigate the medical system is needed by so many people but I can’t find the place where I can use that. It feels so frustrating. Struggling through the maze of medicine today is so hard on patients. It is changing so fast and getting more and more complex. I wish I could see the direction that I could go to help and see clearly the path ahead. I want to know that this is what God is calling me to do or if I should just move in another direction.
I hate being in limbo! Again I am suffering from waiting. I have no patience. There may be a lesson that I need to learn before God opens the path in front of me. It has happened before and I have been the in wilderness before. I waited and the answer landed in my lap. I just need to listen for God and wait.
Today started out ok. Just the usual, coffee, breakfast etc. My plan was to work on a computer booklet in Publisher for a dinner my husband is involved in. Lately my computer (I use a desktop as I am old and blind..HA) has been behaving strangely. I hate to use my laptop as I don’t like typing on a small keyboard. I know, I know, I could connect the keyboard to the laptop but then I would have to stick on large glasses to see the screen. Aging is aggravating! I had cataracts removed but one of them needs redoing and until then my vision is UGH!
Anyway, I kept struggling along with the twitches of the desktop but today in the middle of finishing the booklet I got the BLACK SCREEN!! Fortunately I was able to get it rebooted long enough to save the document on the web. At that point I went to talk to my husband and say some very ugly words. Being the great guy he is he said “put on your clothes were going to get you a new computer! He has long held the belief that in order to do any work you need the the right tools.
So instead of my original plan we bought a new computer (didn’t really want to spend the money but…) and he took me to lunch. Now I am waiting for Carbonite restore everything. I got Word Press up so that I didn’t have to use the lap top.
We never know how our day will be. We just have to get up and make the bed, clean ourselves up and move forward. The day will unroll one moment at the time. God’s time.
Advent is my favorite church season. Waiting for a birth is so full of promise. Advent arrives in the darkest part of the year. Light is waning. Many places are cold. Darkness rules and we are waiting…..waiting for light. We hope, we yearn for light to break through. Many times we are wallowing in the darkness of our own soul. We cannot see any light at all. We feel the dark close in around us and there seems to be no hope. Seeking light we want to escape our own minds but find no escape for the mind is strong and holds us in its sway.
We have to reach outside of ourselves, away from the thoughts that hold us in thrall. Light is dawning without and will banish the thoughts. Light will draw us out and open the doors of the mind and set us free. Wait, wait. The light comes.
We listen to the promises from Isaiah 59:9- 60:1
we wait for light, and lo! there is darkness; and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
Yet, for now, we are still in the darkness. But the promise is there. Wait, wait for the light.
Yesterday emotions rose up and got me. Since not being a parish nurse I have felt the loss of being there for people in times of crisis. I think that part of my person is connected to being a support for others. In a way I have lost some of my identity. At the moment all I am doing is cleaning house, cooking, working in the yard and trying to continue on this journey. It is hard to feel as if you have lost part of yourself. Tears come when I think of this. It is very difficult when you have found your perfect place and then lost it.
I have plans to begin mediation training in January and I am hoping that helping people resolve their differences instead of going to court will fill some of the void.
I do love working in the yard and cooking but really who wants to build a life around cleaning? There are only two of us to cook for and that limits us.I enjoy the garden (I use this term loosely) but it is large and overwhelming. I do spend time with friends but nothing seem to replace what I had. I need to get used to the fact that nothing ever will.
I know that God has some other way to use the skills that I have acquired over a lifetime. I just wish God would hurry and tell me what that is! I will keep plugging along and wait on God’s timing. I know that grief comes and goes and I am just in a wave of it and it will pull out to sea again. Life will continue.
Some days are just plain harder than others. Today was not a bad day it’s just that I couldn’t stop thinking. I worked in the yard this morning and did some housework and can’t stop thinking is this all? Most of my life has been spent helping others. My job as a parish nurse was so fulfilling. Now I seem to be in limbo. I know that there will be more coming for me……something to do that lets me help others but today waiting seemed forever.
I think one of the hardest things to do in life it wait. Frequently I talk with friends who have medical issues. They have been to the doctor but are having to wait for the results of the tests before they know anything. WOW! Talk about creating anxiety and stress! The system is not good about getting information to those waiting. I wonder if anyone thinks about the fear that can arise just waiting.
We are impatient people. We want everything done right now. We don’t want to wait. How often do we wait in medical offices for appointments. By the time we are seen our blood pressure has risen to a dangerous level. We don’t wait well.
It seems to me that this inability to tolerate waiting is a result of society’s current lifestyle. It goes right along with the inability to tolerate silence. We don’t remain calm for long and can feel the stress rising.
We have to learn to take a deep breath and relax into the situation. I once heard a story about a man who stressed over every red light that he encountered on his way to work. Someone suggested that instead he should pray for the people around him at the light. Pray for anyone walking by, other drivers, cars passing by. He started doing this and really prayed at every light. After a while he began to be upset if he encountered a green light.
Maybe when we have to wait prayer is a good response. I can imagine myself praying for all the people in the doctor’s office. Prayer for others while working in the yard or doing housework could make the experience much different. I think I will give this a try and see if it curbs my impatience.