Sunday, April 17, 2011

The "M" Word

It runs in my family. It's been one of my biggest struggles (there are so many). It tries to control, succeeds more than I would like for it too. It's part of everyday life and yet for me, it can become my life.

Moodiness. Emotional overdrive.

For years, I think I just figured it was normal. It was a teenage thing. A girl thing. An irritating thing. Now, for many recent years, I've defined it as the thing that gets me. It takes me over, squeezes the balance out and leaves me, and sometimes others, in shambles.

Let me define what I mean. My emotions aren't swinging in bi-polar motion. It's mostly happy and then a little indifference sets in and moves on to quietness. The need to be around but not really a part. Like the invisible friend. Like the emotion has been sucked out just a little bit. It doesn't usually last for long, just a day or so but long enough to disrupt my life and sometimes my relationships.

When I was in my mid-twenties (the fact that I can refer to "my mid-twenties" makes me want to barf), one of my good friends so bluntly pointed out that I was moody. It was reconfirmed by several other friends in several other eye-opening conversations. I was shocked, offended each time it was said. Not me. I'm passionate, yes. I'm opinionated, yes. I feel things deeply, yes. But moody? Heck no!

But God has ever-so-not-gently been working on me over the last 5ish years or so. Showing me that what I like to call "the need to be quiet" or "indifference" or "desire to shut the entire world out" is really just my way of defining moodiness. And over the last 5 years, I've really worked on being balanced, not allowing myself be controlled by my emotions.

Wow,that's a really short sentence to sum up some of the biggest growth in my life. Ever.

Here's the rub though. I'm pretty much a one-track mind. I can multi-task. But when it comes down needing total concentration, only one thing can be done at a time.

So, even though we've (me and God) mostly (totally my fault) overcome my "being controlled by emotions", when God is working on me in other areas, I have a really hard time handling the emotions that come along with it. I become so aware of how I treat others, how out of control my tongue is, how infinitely un-perfect I am, arg, I just want to crawl in a hole and make it stop. Since that's not really socially acceptable, I (like every other person on this planet) go to work, build relationships, spend time with friends, do ministry all while He is changing, molding, remaking...and sometimes it's just too much.

Does that even make sense?

The inner turmoil, the God-working thing, takes over. Which is awesome. I want Him to work in my life. But it's like being back at square one with the moodiness thing. Apparently, we've (God and me) only passed Emotions 101 (my fault). Isn't it weird, that a weakness, a struggle, a sin, whatever it needs to be called, has been overcome until He begins working on other areas? And then it just pops it's little head up again. Arg.

It relieves me to know that it's not up to me to "find" joy or contentment or peace. I don't have to create them. And they're not emotions. God is joy, he gives contentment. He is peace. A lot of the time I know that and remember it. Sometimes, I just need a good kick upside the head.

Hello to this week.

God and I are in the middle of an argument about real trust in all areas blah blah blah so I've been a little (say it!) moody.

We can still be friends right? Even with my little bit of crazy? It's endearing, right? Right?


Karen said...

FRIEND! i love you... lots... all the time... really... truly...

Jeremy said...

You have a lot of personal insight and awareness. I admire that. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I think any time we have to live with ourselves (all the time), it's a difficult thing. We irritate ourselves, hurt ourselves, and make us want to be someone else or somewhere else or nowhere some of the time. I think that may be a human condition. Sometimes I long for that home in Heaven where I will be changed to be like Christ and I won't have to fight me anymore! Mom

Jen said...

Karen, girl I love you too! Thanks friend.

Jeremy, thanks.

Mom, I think you're right. I get so tired of myself. Fighting me is exhausting. Heaven...I can't even imagine. Thanks for your comment momma.