We like to downplay emotions and fool ourselves into believing we are making carefully thought out rational decisions. But the truth be known, our emotions are the fuel that drives much of what we do.
There’s nothing wrong with that—it is what it is; we were created to be emotional beings.
I like to think of our emotions as dashboard indicators which let us know what is going on “under the hood.”
For example, the way you are feeling right now is neither right or wrong–it just is. However, your current feelings do tell you something about yourself. Taking a few minutes through out your day to check your emotional indicators can save you from a lot of emotionally driven wrecks.
Here’s a little exercise I go through on a regular basis (usually several times a day).
First, ask yourself, “How do I feel?”
The dashboard indicator can be blinking its warning but if you ignore it trouble is ahead. Taking a moment and assessing how you feel emotionally at the moment can go a long way of explaining why things are going the way they are.
Also, don’t beat yourself up because of how you feel—it is what it is.
But don’t stop there…
Second, ask yourself, “Why do I feel this way?”
This is where you look under the hood. How many times have you snapped at someone and really they were not the issue—it was something else. But because you did not dig a little deeper and discover why you were feeling the you were you lashed out and made matters worse.
Finally, the third question to ask is, “What do I know about this?”
This is where you rein your emotions in. You may feel down and depressed (you can’t help that, feelings happen). The deep down reason may be that you feel unloved, unappreciated, or a dozen other reason. However, the truth is God love you—that’s the truth whether you feel like it or not.
Maybe you feel afraid or nervous because of major changes going on around you or there’s things happening that are beyond your control. But what you know is that no matter how you feel God is in control. He will keep that which you’ve committed to him (2 Timothy 1:12) and he is working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28), etc.
You get the picture.
No matter how you feel, go with what you know. Make your decisions and take action based, not on how you feel, but on the truth.
- The ONE THING for today: Regularly check the emotional dashboard warning lights of your life by answering the following questions:
- How do I feel?
- Why do I feel this way?
- What do I know about that?
And then go with what you know (no matter how you feel at the moment).
A lifetime of doing that will get you to your destination with very few breakdowns on the side of the road-and boy, does that feel good.