Hot tempers start fights; a calm, cool spirit keeps the peace
Proverbs 15:18 (The Message)
We can learn a lot from sports. One of the things that great athletes can do- indeed must learn to do- is to slow things down. When a rookie comes into a professional sport, he or she must learn to control the excitement of their emotions in order to perform at the top of their game. The rush of adrenaline they feel when they walk onto the field, court or arena, must be channeled and kept under control. Some athletes say that they need to “let the game come to them” or a similar phrase that means, “I need to be in control of my emotions and concentrate everything I have into my performance”.
In a similar way, I tell my clients to try to slow things down in the heat of the moment. Taking control of breathing, for example, allows us to focus on the facts and truth rather than the emotional thoughts that might lead us astray.
Recently, I talked with a client about how he gets defensive with his wife during disagreements. He can hear her words at the moment and immediately fill in a blank that she might not have intended. However, because of his past experiences, he tends to interpret her words as indictments of his ability. He knows the truth, but in the heat of the moment, he makes a leap in logic to old untruths.
Just like slow-motion replay in sports helps us to slow down the action and see the truth of the on-field decision, we may need to find our own ways of slowing down the action in our mind to see the truth that we need.
Prayer: Lord, help us to slow down to better see truth, Amen