Ah, emotion. Such a driving force in our lives, and we don’t even realize it much of the time.
Or at least, I don’t. Or didn’t – until recently.
I’m a pretty neutral person. I keep calm in most circumstances and have a chill, laid-back, “whatever” temperament. I have at times prided myself in taking emotion out of the equation when it comes to approaching issues and people.
But really, that’s a wall. A facade. Because in my core, I am chock-full of emotions. And those emotions drive me.
And I’ve let them. Unknowingly.
Or, more likely the case – apathetically.
I’m dreaming again of my future. What I would love to have happen – the types of dreams that are extremely far-fetched, but something within you says that maybe, just maybe they might come true.
But I’ve been waiting. For what, I don’t know. To lose X amount of pounds. To find a man. To have all the concrete answers. To have a clear and safe path.
Problem is, time waits for no one. The clock keeps ticking, I’m getting older. It’s getting harder to see myself letting go of comfort and stability for something bigger. Not to mention, I found two new gray hairs this morning.
I’m not old. I’m still very young in the grand scheme of things – I have so much more time to accomplish the great things I want to, but they will never happen if I keep waiting.
So I’ve been stepping out into new things – things that I’ve kept hidden in myself most of my life because it’s not practical or because of my insecurities. It’s overwhelming, but it’s been a thrill to step out and find that not only do I enjoy it – I’m good at it!
But emotions. Tricky little bastards.
It’s like working out. You’re supposed to exercise every morning. The alarm clock goes off and your emotions try to seduce you –
You worked hard yesterday, you deserve a sleep-in.
You stayed up too late last night, getting more sleep is more important than working out.
Or it’s just that feeling that causes you to slam the snooze button over and over and over again.
And I gotta say – they win much of the time.
Yesterday, I was looking at a set list for singing for kids worship today, and I just wasn’t “feeling” it.
I’m tired. It’s been a long week. I’m singing with someone new. I’m tired.
I was close to calling out “sick.”
But then I had this epiphany: I’ve “called out sick” far too many times in my life. Because I was too tired or uncomfortable or insecure. So it was easier to lie – to others, but mostly to myself. Better to be comfortable for now and when the time was right, I’d be ready to take the plunge.
The time will never be right.
They say (whoever “they” are) that you’re never completely ready for marriage or having kids. I think I’m starting to understand that that actually applies to most things in life.
Sitting there, I thought about my dreams – the big crazy ones. I realized that they all had something in common – work.
They all take work. A small portion is fun and amazing and validating – and that part is super important. But before I could ever get to that – I have to work. And work hard.
If I can’t even push beyond my “not feeling it” to commit 5 hours on a Sunday to singing worship for kids – how can I even think that I would be able to grasp even a portion of my dreams?
So I sucked it up. I shoved my emotions into the back seat and took the steering wheel. I practiced the music and sang for the kids.
Was it the most amazing experience of my life? No.
Was it the most terrible? Absolutely not, far from it.
I had a good time, but more importantly, I began to teach myself and my emotions who’s boss. I control my actions. And each time I overrule my “not feeling it” and do it anyway, I will grow stronger and will start to achieve things I never thought I could.
This isn’t about shutting down emotion – this is about putting it in it’s proper place, so that when it’s needed, it’s ready to roll.
There’s an echo-ing voice in my head that pops up when I’m feeling especially emotional – read: especially whiny.
A wise old sage once said:
If you don’t quit, you win.
So here I am. Not quitting. Even when – especially when – I’m “not feeling it.”