It’s a coffee flavored Bailey’s kind of morning ❤️
Every Sunday when my kids are at my house, I make a big family breakfast and we go to church and after my kids go to their dads for a week. Many times our schedule runs off course much like this week due to business travel and such, so we adjust accordingly. This week I get to keep them as their dad is away on business and personal commitments. It has never been an issue. He adjusts where he can, and I for him. There’s no lawyers involved and no email tracked communication with strict timetables required. What a nightmare that would be, we would both break them.
This morning I was able to reflect on some thoughts regarding the current trend of phrases and actions concerning “feelings.” I think of the “feelings” vs the hard “heart” work it has taken for both Tyler and I, to not carry the emotional baggage of being parents who hate each other and use the children as our fuel, and I am grateful.
Choosing to do what is right is most often the the easiest route and more often the hardest one of all. It’ll test every faculty of your being most often resulting in a change in your frame of mind, empowering the wisdom obtained through it all.
Over the past eight years, I’ve experienced A LOT of “feelings” and sometimes I gave into them. I can remember a specific time that I won’t go into detail, but by societies standards, I would be given the “green light” justifing my actions made soley upon my immediate feelings in the moment.
I believe the phone call went like this:
“MOM, I NEED YOU TO GIVE ME A GOOD REASON RIGHT NOW AS TO WHY NOT KEYING HIS JEEP – MY JEEP – WOULDN’T BE A GOOD IDEA!!!! YOU GOT A 30 SECOND WINDOW…GO!”
Again, there are those feelings.
With 20/20 hindsight, I know these stories have proven to be somewhat funny as I have thought about writing about them. Most of my dearest friends have seen me in this rage and have been an eye witness to my determined problem solving skills. One day I’ll find a way to tell my stories respectfully in regards to the other party as most would be considered humourous and slanted more negatively on my personality. I have had people crying in laughter as I tell my stories and my obsurdity.
How did I not loose myself to my emotions and not end up in jail? Well….
Most times and most definitely this time mentioned above, I would go to my thinking spot (Saskatoon Mountain) to be still and let my emotions run wild so that I might find clarity. I spent time alone with no distractions. Often, well most times, I would sob out my prayers and unload it on God.
Feelings require self discipline in order to experience or empower their reason. My feelings are not my truth. My feelings give me understanding of how an event has effected me in the moment so that I can have a voice in my impending decisions. This battle is often referenced in regards to external self expression within relationships as the battle of the sexes. Men are typically known for being guided by logic and reason and women by emotions and intuition. One is not better than another. In the words of Jerry McGuire “they complete” me. Just as I need discipline to guide my emotions as do men who refuse to find value in the gift of emotion, relationally speaking. I am not refering to work or situations or events where the gift of critical logic removed from emotion is required, nor vice versa where empathy and emotional connection are needed. Nor am I generalizing the gifts by determining them to a specfic sex of a person. I happen to know a man who would be considered far more emotionally considerate than I am, and in some ways more sensitive, but it depends on the topic and the situation. I’ll leave that story for another time and another place, maybe.
Back on track…
I’ve learned the hard way that my feelings are not my north star upon which I direct my path for they are fleeting – here today and gone tomorrow. Just as our bodies require discipline so do our minds, our thoughts, our emotions and our spirit.
Those who grasp this concept go extraordinaringly far in life. Their journies of life lessons are celebrated in the books we read and movies we watch at the box office.
Whenever I find myself starting my sentences off with “I feel like I need…..” I’m compelled to immediately stop myself, smile at my own irony, correct my speech and just do whatever it takes to make whatever needs to happen, happen. My actions are not determined by my feelings, my feelings are determined by my actions. This idea of actions based on feelings is a taught discipline. It has been cultivated by culture and lack of discipline and now plagues even our everyday speech patterns and the resulting emotional choas is spiritually draining. We make decisions based on our definition of happiness in the moment. Again, happiness is fleeting.
To be dicsiplined in this arena is a strength I have to work on as it does not come naturally to me. Often I’ve struggled with my failures. I wandered far too long in my own pity parties, but somehow God meets me where I’m at and reminds me how I am loved. I have failed pretty big, many times. I think because of those failures my line-in-the-sand now has become a trench.
I have a zero tolerance for different areas in my life. If I am to proceed down this path with another, then A+B must = C or I won’t go.
I am by general definition a “passionate” person to either extreme. It’s a blessing and a curse. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because it was probably one of the best compliments ever given to me and yet the most sobering. I’ve once had a man sum me up after having dated for a short period of time. We didn’t last long not because of feelings but because what was right. I’ve mentioned him before but the details I’ll keep to myself. Don’t make assumptions as no matter what you’ll be way off the mark.
His words were:
“The best thing about you and what attracts people to you is that you are Bat Shit Crazy. Every man who is a real man, will love that about you. But your biggest enemy is the fact that you are Bat Shit Crazy. Stubborn as F@ck. And whoever you find will need to be able to match your wit, your strength of character and your physical ability. He will need to be strong willed and soft to let you be the princess you want to be. But in those moments when he sees the need to step in and balance things out, he will need to have the respect he deserves and you let him do what he does best. Anything less, will fail.”
Again, enter feelings. And again, there are the facts.
Those people I am to hold myself accountable to, are not to be “yes” friends, but rather those who are able listen with understanding the why’s of my feelings, weight my circumstance, and able to sift through my emotions. Most times in the heat of the moment, I don’t like what they say AT ALL.
My feelings begin to march in pride. But I can not deny the facts.
Looking back, had I acted on my feelings, my kid’s father would have died a 1000 deaths and I would have felt satisfaction for but a moment followed by a lifetime of regret. 😒🤦🤣🤷 Even though by today’s cultural standard, I would have been found not guilty. But the same could be held true vice versa.
Through this process, I am reminded of what it means to forgive 70×7 as I work through my emotions and ultimately heal. Far too many look to bandaids and soothing techniques to avoid the pain of a process. Sometimes it’s nessecary for a time being in order to heal enough to cycle through another layer. But it’s only for a time, those who don’t, typically make up the member base of applications like Tinder and POF. …. There’s a little dry sarcasm for you. 😒
In end, my ultimate goal is to able to look back on my experiences, sigh for a moment, and then smile with a wisdom known that can be passed on to another when they are in need of a true friend. Feelings can be a true indicator but they can also be dangerous. Feelings left undealt with are time bombs waiting to happend.
Take care of your baggage. Everyone has it. Just fold that crap before you mix in another load of laundry and die another death.
****No Jeeps were keyed in the making of this story or any other story****