“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
~Matthew 12:34b (NRSV)
A paraphrase for the words of Jesus, above, could be: the feelings within convert to behaviour without. We hide nothing when it comes to our emotions.
It’s better when feelings are managed, heeded, and explored; and there opens the vent—the abundance of the heart is quelled and the mouth may not be so forced to speak, lacking discipline; the body is, also, loose and not compelled to act out-of-control.
Control over the emotions is a significant portion of self-control, sponsored by the heart-work ventured in the current of honest reflection and thought reconciliation.
When we think of emotions, avoidance is the usual default.
The overriding motivation for sharpening our emotional game, then, is negatively situated—we desire the equilibrium of sensual calm that defeats temptation for anxiety, anger, and varieties of anguish.
Just as easily, perhaps, we might feed positive emotions into our psyches—joy, thankfulness, praise; but these, realistically, do not emerge naturally; they tend to more easily be seen via hindsight, not foresight.
Identifying Weaknesses Through Reflection
Strengths and weaknesses might be seen as the currency and debt of our relational lives—they empower or disempower our capacities.
Working on weaknesses will take the strength of humble honesty and it can only be done in the decisive moment or later when the cool breeze of reason arrives—both are opportunities at reflection.
Sharpening our emotional game these ways—in the moment or later—is only afforded when a commitment is entered into; that enough is enough of worry, anger, self-pity and the like.
Reflection is the way, but it must be made a habit to work for us consistently.
Repenting Past Guilt And Shame
Nothing takes us past negative emotions like guilt and shame quicker than the healthy attitude of honest repentance; to prostrate ourselves spiritually before the Lord and share our sin with the one who can forgive us—then, as we experience forgiveness, it is easy to forgive ourselves.
Sharpening our emotional game is adequately facilitated in the promptness of such repentance—to enter in without delay and with the fullness of courage to retain none of our pride.
Honesty is the quickest way home in sharpening our emotional intelligence. It connects feelings and thoughts in a way that has us working with ourselves and not against. There is a lot of uncharacteristic courage involved in honesty and such forthrightness will always help us emotionally.
Becoming better adept at managing our emotions requires honest reflection, an understanding of how feelings impact actions, the motive of self-control, and the preparedness to repent—to learn from mistakes.
Controlling our emotions is the key to making the most of our moments in order that we retain a logical mind for making good decisions. When we feel in control of ourselves life is abundantly better; peace and joy abide.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.