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Emotional Rollercoasters

๐ƒ๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ?
Transfers week and riding the emotional rollercoaster began all over again.
Rollercoasters are thrilling though โ€“ arenโ€™t they!?
Missionary arrivals on Tuesday and departures on Thursday mean that emotions are pulled in opposite directions over a very short period of time โ€“ again!
During our 3-year period of service, transfers happen 27 times.
This week was our 9th rotation.
Our emotional heartstrings have already been stretched in so many ways.
The thrill and excitement of welcoming our new arrivals.
Followed by the joyful and agonising feelings that accompany those departing for home.
For instance, highs and lows, laughing and crying in rapid succession (or even at the same time) are commonplace in the mission field.
๐‘ถ๐’–๐’“ ๐’†๐’Ž๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’๐’” ๐’„๐’๐’๐’๐’†๐’„๐’• ๐’–๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐’๐’๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“.
Rather than let these emotions run my life, I am learning to deal with them in a much healthier way, by considering the bigger picture for each of those coming and going.
I am beginning to understand my emotions more as a barometer to measure my own sense of wellbeing and happiness, by mastering those feelings and listening to my heart.
The most challenging moment for me is the final hug at the airport with those departing missionaries.
Yesterday I did better!
I stopped for a moment and took a big conscious breath. It made a difference, at least until we started walking back to the car, and I had a wee tear (or two even!)
The best thing about the afternoon on departures day, is when I take a break and have a wee nap. It allows me to reconnect with my heart and is a golden opportunity to relax.
9 transfer weeks down, only another 18 to go.
Do you listen to your heart?
#joy

Disappointment

After coming in contact with someone with Covid this week, weโ€™ve been in isolation for a few days.
Yesterday, despite our great determination, because of a number of growing cases of covid in the mission, we took a difficult decision to postpone (again) a mission conference, planned for the week ahead, with a visiting general authority of the church.
Our hopes were dashed once moreโ€ฆ
Disappointment, discouragement and being a little down were not far from our thoughts yesterday, as we knew the impact the decision would have on our missionaries. Dealing with disappointment is not easy and it brings a kind of sadness with it too.

What did we learn?

Yet, setbacks are part of our experience as human beings.
I have learned in life too, that as we deal with disappointments, we need to understand that these temporary blips in our lives are just that โ€” temporary!
The key, however, is to boldly face disappointments and to master and control the emotions that arise.
Maybe it is required of all of us to know that through disappointments in life we may experience that which was taught in Doctrine & Covenants 29:39 โ€œif they never should have bitter, they could not know the sweet.โ€
All that said, in one of my favourite scriptures we read in Doctrine and Covenants 61:36, โ€œAnd now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you.โ€
So โ€“ in the midst of our disappointment yesterday, after dealing with and sharing our emotions with one another, we chose to change and cheer ourselves up. We put things into perspective!
It was our day off after all.
We put up the table tennis table and played for a little while. Then we had a game of Sequence, we ate some warming soup, had a chocolate or two, and finally we listened and danced to some cheerful Irish folk music โ€“ all of which lifted our spirits.
What do you do to overcome disappointments?

Emotional Triggers

You’re having a lovely civil conversation, then BOOM! Suddenly your blood pressure surges, you get agitated, you gasp for air, you raise your voice and you have a noticeable urge to throttle the other person…

What just happened?

Emotions kicked in, that’s what happened.

On two occasions this week, my “hot buttons” have been triggered.

So what are emotional triggers?

They can be almost anything. People, situations, words, opinions, can all provoke extreme and disproportionate emotional reactions within all of us, usually resulting in some kind of unhelpful behaviour. Often, the triggers can unconsciously remind us of past life events or maybe even long established beliefs from childhood.

So, what can you do?

In my case, I took some time to question why I was being triggered. Then I took even more time to pause, breathe, reflect. Then I chose to write down what actually happened in my journal. Capturing what emotions surfaced and what my reaction to the events were, actually helped me to have that inner dialogue with myself and understand what happened.

Another learning experience for sure, pausing, recognising the trigger and being able to change the response is key.

What are you emotional triggers and how do you control them?

Emotional Triggers

Why are we all in a hurry?

After a beautiful Sunday afternoon country walk, my wife, daughter and I drove into our street, to find it jam packed with cars on both sides of the road. As I pulled in, another vehicle was coming towards me. There was an immediate problem.

Options were limited for both vehicles. It felt more dangerous for me to reverse back onto the main road, so I made eye contact, waving my hand, suggesting to the female driver of the other vehicle to reverse. It was met with an aggressive look and piercing stare. Looking for alternatives, my wife suggested I mount the kerb on our side of the road. So I did. As the other vehicle passed by, the rude gesture and audible obscenity were a little disturbing.

A trivial incident – yet anger, hostility and frustration boiled over in an instant – an emotional trigger maybe? Perhaps there were a whole host of pressures going on for the other driver – I’ll never know.

In times past, I know too that I’ve had the occasional hot headed occasion.

Is there a road rager inside you?

In the heat of the moment, I was able to pause, breathe, relax and shift my focus elsewhere to avoid an emotional confrontation. There was some inner dialogue going on in my head for sure!

How do you handle emotional triggers?

Touched

The energy in the room was high. Then in a reflective moment one participant shared “I can relate to that” and tears started to flow freely.

The atmosphere changed.

We had already created a safe environment for sharing that day, but the authenticity in the room soared to a different level. Attentively, everyone focused on the personal story being shared. It was a moment of high emotion and an intimate turning point in the workshop. In opening up in such a manner the participant had taken a great risk in approaching a vulnerable area in their life by sharing it so deeply. The silence was palpable.

Unwittingly, by speaking so candidly and tenderly, the participant had completely engaged everyone in the room.

Then it happened.

I watched, as those on either side felt impressed to reach out in a compassionate and reassuring way by physically touching our storyteller.

The whole experience had a profound effect on all of us in the room. There was a feeling of connection, togetherness and unity for a fleeting moment in time.

Deep and meaningful learning moments come quite unexpectedly at times. When they do, don’t be afraid to welcome them, gently explore them, embrace them and cherish them….forever.

Can you reach out and touch someone today?