A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones.
Proverbs 14:30 (The Message)
In the past year, it may be that more people around the world have taken their temperature than in any other year on record. The reason, of course, is the presence of the COVID-19 virus, which makes itself known, sometimes, with a fever. People checked their temperature to see if a fever were present, fearful that they might have Covid. Unfortunately, symptoms are not always present, making the virus harder to track and to eventually subdue.
This reminds me of an exercise I give to my clients with regard to emotional health. My exercise involves periodic self-questioning during the course of a day to stop and simply self-reflect with the question, “What am I feeling right now emotionally?”
It may seem like a curious exercise, but my clients have found this helpful for many reasons. One reason is that taking a time-out to check in on ourselves is a good idea. It keeps us in touch with what is really happening in our mind and spirit at a given moment in time. Without an intentional reflection of this, we may be going on “auto-pilot”, not aware of the real feelings which we are suppressing to get through a hectic day.
This exercise also gives us a chance to be really honest with our self, and to own that emotion that we may not want to share with anyone else. We might, for example, be feeling resentful or angry, sad or fearful- emotions which we may not be comfortable with. Yet, it is so important to just be in touch with what is happening in our mind and soul.
Finally, when we take that quick little snapshot, we can tie back that emotion with a trigger. Maybe that little comment in a meeting really started an emotional response that we quickly suppressed. Or that person who cut us off on the highway elicited a stronger response than warranted. These are important experiences to identify and own, because left unheeded, they can catch up with us in ways that do not have happy or healthy outcomes.
Tomorrow, more on this, and a little self-disclosure from me about a time I did this exercise and what I found out about me.
Prayer: Lord, give us the courage to do these self-reflections which can be healing, Amen.