I had to take a break from myself today.
The past day has been a much-needed break from the emotional havoc that I’ve been so attached to lately. The attachment to things: uneasiness, tension, stress, anxiety, anger and so on. All of those things that my personal convictions have allowed me to handle with a bit more attentiveness, made possible with the willingness to seek the Lord’s guidance. Yet, the past few weeks have been a lesson that has shaped the current place I have come to. It was His way of showing me a few more valuable lessons.
Rest was something that I was not getting much of recently. After reaching the point of being nearly dead on my feet while still having to perform at a very fast-paced, physical job, nearly everyday, along with the exercise that I force myself to do in the middle of the day, I finally had to fall face first into my pillow and sleep for longer than usual. I woke up very rested, and had yet another strenuous day, and I’m still going. I figured I would write for a few minutes. So, the rest was helpful, and it especially helps because I am always less irritable. I know the lack of rest was playing a part in the past few weeks, but so was the passing of my dad. Along with the unbelievable rudeness of close family. One thing, then the next, on top of this and that, followed by more of the things that bring the uneasiness, tension, stress anxiety and anger.
The latching on to negative emotions was once a very established and habitual practice of mine. I would get started on a thought, run with it, and maybe that run would then last for hours, weeks or days. It all depended on how far I was willing to go. I was always willing. No matter what harm I seemed to cause myself and usually everyone around me, I would make sure everyone else suffered just as much as I would. Inadvertently. Unknowingly. After the damage was done, after the hurtful words were said and my apologies were reluctantly accepted by those on the receiving end, I would beat myself up with the blame and shame. I would then somehow still proclaim and justify it all being because of someone else. Someone else was to blame.
The past few weeks has been a complete nightmare. I have been going over the horrible truths that I have just mentioned and giving into their persuasive pull. The old habits that I had given up some time ago. I lost touch with my self-awareness and began to lose sight of the self-control. I began to think about how and what brought me to those habitual ways that I’ve worked so incredibly hard to eliminate, or, at least, keep at an extreme minimum. I was running with a few old patterns and habits. First, the way that both of my parents were. I say “were” because one is dead and the other is someone who refuses to change the destructive ways I have mentioned within myself. My mother and I no longer speak to each other. Perhaps, in time, that will change. Both of my parents were dysfunctional and very harmful. I was beginning to not only dig up the hurt that was placed within my life from both of them (in the past, and not at the current moment), but I was also beginning to let the negative emotions control me. I was getting very irritated, and the root of the agitation was growing deeper.
I had to get back to observing the emotions and remembering to not become the emotions.
My day started with prayer with my wife, after a morning that had already shaken her up because of an argument she had with our youngest son. Oh, and that’s another trigger for stress, for both of us. We have a kid who thinks the world revolves around him at his current age. As my day went on, I found myself very focused and back to a place that spoke the truths I had recently forgotten. The recent truth of the attack of the devil in my place of anguish and despair. The truth of the things I cannot change in others. The truth of being called to a higher standard in Him, and the truth of the many sins that are planted deep within me from the former life. I faced the truth of the many ups and downs that God allows in order for me to gain a deeper relationship with Him in the long run, as always.
I’ve made a new habit of being the silent observer. Taking a look at myself from the outside, regaining focus and seeing the destruction that takes place. Today was that day. I had to pull up the root that has been growing so deeply within the ground of my old ways, the ways that the devil used to love to drown me in, and get back to allowing God to speak. I had to get back to the understanding of the greater good that He has in store through seasons like this one. He silently waited for me to realize just how destructive my own behavior was becoming, and now I observe the self-control I must use in order to allow His way within.