Is Marriage Encounter still around? It was a very big deal in our area in the 1970’s, and something I learned during the weekend Hubby and I spent there changed my life.
In case it’s still around and some of you might attend sometime, I won’t tell you too much about it (it really was a worthwhile weekend), but I do want to share with you something important I learned that weekend — about managing your emotions.
Mama firmly believed and said many times, “I can’t help how I feel.” So, of course, that’s what I believed. Well, at Marriage Encounter they told me something I’d never heard before, “Your emotions are a decison.”
Wow! That was a concept I had never, ever thought about! I could control my emotions? Well, it was worth a try — because I was a very emotional person, and not always in a good way. I was verrrry thin skinned with feelings that were hurt “at the drop of a hat.” I remember one time, in a moment of self-analysis saying, “I feel like I’m thrashing my way through the ‘sea of life,’ most of the time, against the current.” I made life very intense for myself and everyone around me.
So, that was the beginning of a long (and continuing) road to a happier me. Once I embraced that concept, I found out that I could actually change how I felt by what I thought. I came to realize that my old pattern in relationships had been to tend to assume the worst motivations for what others did or said. With my new mind set, I could actually feel myself lighten up when I applied this theory and remembered to put a positive spin on other’s words or actions.
So, if you are like the old me and have always believed that “you can’t help how you feel,” I’d like to pass on that little tip that changed my life all those years ago. You can help how you feel — by using self-talk! It doesn’t always work, but it does alot of the time.
May God bless all of us with the ability to look at others and their motives in the best possible light.
An additional thought that just occurred to me: Whenever we are angry, who are we mad at, really? Yes, we would say it is at the situation or the person, but isn’t it really at God? Aren’t we really angry that God has allowed this to happen to us? And don’t you think the Devil must love that? Something to think about.