I’ve recently talked about the phenomenal joy, peace, contentment, and just overall fabulous feelings I now have daily. I can honestly say that is not historically my profile. I leaned toward being a melancholy teenager, melancholy in my twenties, mild depression in my thirties, then anxiety and severe depression in my forties and early fifties. Sure, I had many good days, but when an intense situation arose or a series of downers, one after the other hit, it became harder and harder to stay afloat mood-wise. It's critical to pay more attention to thought management than feelings.
The result of my studying my Bible every single day, listening to sermons several times during the week, prayer, praise, calling to mind and meditating on what I’ve read, and speaking it out loud with Michael, family, and friends, the cognitive beauty and peace that comes in waves has truly blown me away.
Because I’m susceptible to mood fluctuations, I must be alert when my mood takes a dive. Now, I’m not about being “I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation” all day every day. I mean, life is life. Hormones are hormones. Situations are situations. I can guarantee you when I’m in my living room on a Saturday night, and I develop a headache because my neighbor’s bio-cycled smoke is coming into my home, as it does every. single. day., which is one of the reasons we are trying to move, I’m not feeling on top of the world. By family design, I'm a scrapper, and I want to go out and tell her a few things while she's sitting in that handicap parking stall outside my living room window, chain smoking, and dragging fast food from that car.
And though Michael and I love each other, and we never go out of our way to do or say anything to hurt one another, on occasion something is done or said that upsets the other…usually I’m the one getting upset. Lol. And my innate response is to fire back. THAT is something I’m working on because popping off at the mouth is a learned and conditioned response that’s been with me for years and years, since I was a kid. It is deeply rooted from familial defense mechanisms.
I am fervently working on it.
Or, another thing…the moon. Yes, the moon, the full moon. Hands down, when I start feeling blue, really blue, chances are it’s a full moon. It affects my father negatively, as well. I really must watch how I react/respond to people when there’s a full-moon and monitor my thoughts much more closely.
So, yes, I experience wonderful joy, but it’s not happenchance; I’ve carefully cultivated it through an intimate relationship with Christ. And when I begin to wander off that good center, I need to carefully monitor what is going on to cause a cognitive deflation, so I can get back on track, or at least find a logical explanation. Or if there isn’t one, which sometimes there isn’t, watch myself carefully, so that because of how I’m feeling I don’t exacerbate it or over react.
Our feelings are most often a direct result of what we’re thinking. Thought management is crucial for a good, strong, healthy cognitive life. When we let thoughts run amuck then our feelings run amuck. And just because we feel something doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, doesn’t mean we are to act on them. If you're married and start chatting with that good lookin' guy at work, chances are you'll start thinking about him then FEELING something for him. Or if you start thinking everyone has more good things going on than you without taking stock and being grateful for what you DO have then you're going to start feeling sorry for yourself because of what you've been thinking. Situations like that are like going down a road with a big sign in orange letters "ROAD OUT AHEAD!" It leads to nothing but trouble, and everyone in the car gets hurt.
Because of my DNA and my family, I will always have to monitor my thinking and behavior. But that leads to great growth and awareness, so that not only do I get stronger, but I then help others become strong, as well. And that’s what we are called to do, get better, not be the one to always seek counsel but to be someone who ultimately provides good counsel.
And being a Christian doesn't mean we stay silent when someone is imposing ill-health/unhealthy aspects of their lives onto us. I've spoken kindly to my neighbor about their smoking. I've spoken with management afterwards. I've had to kindly speak to my neighbor, again. We can be kind and direct to communicate clearly. But not everyone is considerate, so if they cannot come to a compromise, we need to seek alternate solutions. This is what we've been forced to do with neighbors that choose to contaminate our health due to their poor choices. That's life. It doesn't always work out our way, so we move on.
Gluttony comes in many forms, not only in what we do with our bodies and put into our bodies via food, drugs, and images, etc., but also what we put into our minds. There was a time when I chose to get fat off second-hand faith – taking in someone else’s sermon, testimony, going to motivational conferences, listening to Christian music, which are all good things but don’t take me far unless I’m studying the Bible myself. And therein lies that supernatural, divine power through an intimate relationship with Christ that leads us to navigate above feelings to create a wonderful mindset that leads to emotional health and stability.
So, if you’re like me, you’re in good company. And head’s up, the super, worm moon begins this weekend!