I did something this week that I often have a hard time with…I kept my emotions in check. Yeah, it’s worthy of celebration, right?! Go, Me!
Follow me on this…you KNOW something to be true, but it takes life happening, experiencing hardship, and un-learning and re-learning, before you finally can DECLARE it. Well, here we are.
Stress manifests itself in my body. When tensions run high, I physically hurt. It happens in my neck and shoulders first, then I can feel it in my arms. My. Arms. Hurt. I get these weird hot spots all over, too, like little fireballs and knots under the skin (especially in my legs). If you run your hand over my leg, it makes me jump to graze one of the them. Ridiculous.
I know that now. I’m declaring it. I think because we can KNOW something and finally be able to DECLARE it, we can put it into practice. (What a concept, right?! Amanda, you don’t have to keep learning that lesson. Here it is. Just do it.)
So this week…I practiced keeping my emotions in check when I felt my body start to hurt. (Amanda, you know your body hurts when you’re stressed, so mitigate the stress BEFORE your body hurts too much. Eureka!)
In case you struggle with this, too, I’ll share what I did, so you can practice as well. We will practice together this lesson we have learned, KNOW to be true, and have DECLARED.
~ I made it stop. Yep, instead of following my urge to keep insisting, try to convince, make myself clear, I said, “I can feel myself starting to hurt because of this tension, and I don’t have the bandwidth to carry on this way, so I need a 15-minute break and can talk to you again in a bit.”
~ I made it stop again. After the 15 or so minutes had passed, the conversation started again, and the hurt ramped up. I said again, “Emotions are still running high, and I can’t mentally handle this right now, so I need another 20 minutes or so.”
~ I kept my voice calm and my responses reasonable. Y’all, I’m not asking for a trophy. I marvel at my own ability to have done this. I didn’t let myself get worked up and carried away. This may seem like a common, logical response to most, but it’s easier said than done for me.
~ I was right, and I knew it. Reminding myself that, up until that point, I had been wise, made informed decisions, and behaved according to principle helped me remember that the problem at hand was not mine. It was mine to then deal with, but I didn’t create it. Livin’ right with clean hands helps.
~ The thing I’m most proud of…I let it go…totally open-ended. Yes! Ms. Must Have A Solution Immediately spoke up and said, “I am not prepared to give you an answer to that right now. I’ll need time to think.” Look at me go!
~ I praised God through it. While I would have ordinarily prayed the “Why is this happening, God?” or the “God, please make this stop.” prayers, I instead thanked Him for all the good things I’m surrounded by. I’m in a place I once prayed to be, and I am so blessed. High emotion is fleeting. Blessings can remain. For all that is good around me, I am thankful.
I am so flawed and impatient, stubborn and emotional. Not for one second do I share having done any of this to brag. No high horse here! I’m a mess.
But heck, maybe I do need to brag. Maybe I need to stand up, pat me on the back, and clap for myself, because being able to not just KNOW that about me, but being able to DECLARE it, then put what I have learned into practice is huge.
You need to feel that way when you experience growth, too. We don’t give ourselves enough credit as we evolve and improve. I want to talk about that more. Let’s get into it.