All Bottled Up

August 27, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

 

          Earlier today, I traveled to a meeting out of state.  It was a long day (15 hours to be exact) and my emotions ranged from excitement to moodiness.  As I sat in the airport, while looking around at the horde of humanity, my heart was challenged by a sense of insecurity.  For some reason, my confidence was shot (not a good thing when going to a customer meeting).  After taking a deep breath, putting on my headphones, and saying a few prayers, I was able to get a hold of my emotions.

          Could it have been that I was just tired?  Maybe.  Could it have been that I’ve been working from home so long that I’ve lost some of my edge when visiting customers?  Maybe.  But, after thinking it through most of the day, I determined that it had more to do with a conversation I’d had with my older sister the night before.

          I’d called her earlier in the day and she hadn’t answered.  Later that night, she called me back.  On the surface, we had a good call and, after my recent visit, we both feel more connected.   However, the stark reality of her condition was evident on the call.  Even though I’d emotionally tried to manage since the last trip, those feelings of loss and shock came back.  Only this time, I bottled them up.

          Emotions are a lot like the carbonation in a bottle.  When they get excited, they expand.  They can cause us super highs and super lows.  When they’re held in, they will only raise the internal pressure until, eventually, we explode. 

          Like the soda bottle that is shaken too much, our hearts can only take so much before they need to release that emotional pain and pressure.   If the pressure is released all at once, it could cause harm to everyone around.  That’s why, when releasing the pressure in the bottle, it should be let out slowly and steadily until it equalizes.   The same is true with our emotions.

          We’ve all probably had those times when we just couldn’t hold it in anymore, and all those emotions came out in either positive, or, negative ways.  Positive when we jumped for joy, cried with excitement, laughed uncontrollably, or hugged everyone we could reach.  Negative, when we exploded in anger, binged on our go-to self-medication, burst out in tears, or just fell into depression.

          How do we manage those emotions?  For me, my heart is a great pressure gauge.  It lets me know when I’m getting to the point of not being able to handle the pressure of unreleased emotions.  Probably the best way to gradually let them out, has been to find a friend, or loved one, to share them with who I can trust. 

Nine times out of ten, that’s the Mrs. for me.  But not always, as my emotional pressure can transfer to her because she tends to try and carry the load for me.  Then, it comes right back to me when she needs to release them.   I guess, at times, that works well, though.

The primary way to let out those deeper feelings has been through worship and prayer.  There’s nothing like raising one’s hands to the Lord and lifting my burdens to Him.  He gladly takes them and brings comfort and peace all the while. 

It’s when I don’t have that time with Him, that I find myself bottling up those feelings of pain, hurt, insecurity, and loss, only to have them come out on their own.  Like today, I realized I need to give that feeling of loss over to Him.  He will help carry that burden for me and give me the strength to get through it.

So, if you’re feeling like a shaken bottle of soda, I want to encourage you to find an outlet before those hidden emotions all come out at once.  It may be a friend or loved one.  Or, it may be the Lord.  He will gladly listen, and He certainly isn’t embarrassed by our tears.  After all, He knows what we need before we come to Him anyway, and loves us all the more …

 

Love always my friend,


Brad

 


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