I just spent the better part of 4 hours being angry. Angry because I felt unappreciated, slighted, and misunderstood. Add the emotion of feeling like a failure to the anger because when I tried to put words to the situation, I didn’t do an adequate job of explaining the problem or standing up for what I meant.
I was right. I am absolutely confident of that. So why do I feel so, well, yucky? Part of it is simply letting my emotions overwhelm me and run away with my attitude. I sometimes forget that my emotions are like a pack of wild horses. I have to break them, tame them, and put them back in the barn. (Okay, for you true horsey people, I maybe didn’t get that quite right but I’ll believe you’ll accept the analogy.) Tonight I didn’t tame anything. I reacted. I let my emotions run wild. Unfortunately when I let that happen, the outcome affects my thoughts, my words, sometimes my actions, and definitely other people. Not my best self for sure.
The other reason I feel yucky? The time spent letting my “hate mustangs” run my life was a complete waste of time. I was in the company of others and while I didn’t complain or even hint anything was amiss, I didn’t enjoy myself as much as I could have. I was preoccupied with thoughts of . . . well . . . me. Ick. Yup. True.
And then I was pulled out of myself. Someone I care about shared news of a struggle they are currently enmeshed in. It’s a true difficulty with no set outcome but is likely to be disappointing and create some ongoing hardship.
Suddenly the fact that I had been misunderstood and perhaps misused on one day of my life wasn’t such a big deal anymore. In fact, I feel a little silly. Again, the issue was real. The problem was in how I dealt with it.
When I finished the conversation with my saddened friend, it didn’t require a bit, bridle, or lasso to get my horses back in the barn. They trotted in willingly, heads down, well aware of their emotional overreaction.
So now what? I get to start over. That’s the only good part of messing up. But it is a promise –
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
One thing about that? I’m not going to wait until morning to hit my reset button.
but compared to the things in life that really matter, the event was small potatoes. My emotions were quickly put back in perspective when I was reminded of the things in life that are really difficult and the people who really matter. People, if you are angry, feeling slighted, unappreciated, let go!