Tim Butler

Counselor, Life Coach & Speaker

Filtering by Tag: emotions

Emotions: Real, but not always reflecting reality

I had the great privilege of sharing those thoughts—and more—over a recent weekend at Cedar Creek Church. Regardless of the place you occupy in your spiritual journey, we all have emotions we try to manage and sort through. Some struggle more with feelings than others, depending on how you are wired. But we were created with the ability to feel deeply when life comes at us with circumstances we did not expect. The title of the series was Comeback; overcoming from what life has dealt you, or, recovering from life choices that were harmful.  Let me share some of the more salient points.

You can watch the entire message below.

Emotions are real, but, they do not always reflect reality. Just because you feel hopeless, for example, does not mean that life is—in fact—hopeless. It may just be your emotions clouding your vision.

We certainly cannot deny our emotions, but we also cannot deify them, or make them the only driving force in our lives. Balance. Perspective. Time. These all play a part in managing them.

It is my belief that God created us. As such it is super comforting to know that God does not change, even though my circumstances and moods can fluctuate greatly. We all need something to hang on to; some reason to hope. We have more stability with a power that is greater than us. The Creator of the universe is my anchor.  That gives me hope in dark times.

Depending on your spiritual journey, the name Jesus Christ may engender peace…or all kinds of questions. That’s fine. 

The Bible says once we begin a life devoted to following the example of Jesus, and understanding that we are a sinner and need Jesus as our savior, he will never let us go. That will bring comfort in the middle of whatever you are trying to recover from: Peace in the middle of the storm. 

One component to the Comeback is the notion of time. We are not a patient culture in 2016. Now, more than ever, we are led to believe that we can have almost anything super fast. Immediate gratification. Instant results. Quick fix.

Regrettably though, that does not always apply to our emotional healing. Life takes time. Emotional healing takes time. 

Process our emotions and follow the will of our Creator in our lives. Simple but not easy.

Think about it; God creates us and has a plan for our lives. We, on the other hand, are consumed with our own agenda. That is a natural response, but not an effective way of living life, long term. So, as a final step for overcoming whatever it is in your life that has you down, reconnect with your Creator and see what his plans are for you now. 

Look at your pattern of behavior, actions, responses, emotional reactions. See which ones are helpful, and be honest about the ones that are not helping, and the ones that might not be Godly. Let someone speak into your life, if you are not able to see your blind spots clearly (who can, right?). Change what you need to change and reexamine your relationship with God. 

Some thoughts to ponder as you attempt to keep those emotions in the right place, as you move over the boulders in your life. 

How Does That Make You Feel?

Kids are given instructions regularly in the educational process urging them to exercise self-control. We tell them to ignore something, walk away, take deep breaths, forgive the ones who wronged them, etc. Yet, as adults, we somehow forgot these caveats and let our emotions propel us into doing things, saying things—or at times—totally dictating our feelings.

What happened to the sage wisdom we preach to our kids? Are we going to model it or simply enforce the behavior that we feel is appropriate?

We are never too old to learn. For most of us, we never totally grow out of the potential of letting emotions control our day. In the great read, The EQ Edge, authors Steven Stein and Howard Book point to the need to be aware of our emotions for the purpose of controlling them. Clearly, this skill—referred to as our emotional intelligence or emotional quotient—is not as simple as it appears for a lot of us, myself included.

How often do we “feel” something negative even though the environment around us has not changed one bit?

Then, as if by magic, we feel different or even more self-controlled in another few hours; however, nothing has changed except what we feel or what we tell ourselves. This see-saw of emotions is draining not only on us, but those around us—especially our family.

Take your own emotional pulse.

Ask yourself what is behind your current emotions. Is it something that justifies your emotional response, or are you simply acting on raw emotional whims? And even if it is something that justifies your emotional response, are you still willing to let that be your response? Would there be a more mature way of handling your response? Would you feel better later if you were to cool down, calm yourself, walk away, remain silent, and controlled?

We have to decide how much of our lives we are willing to let external factors play such a major role.

For some, we have to decide how much we are willing to let our own fluctuating moods drive us. Clearly, the art of self-control is always better in the long run, but it is not always easy. Commit today to be more determined to know your emotional state for the purpose of controlling it better. Feel better as a result.