Can we be real?
We collectively spend an exorbitant amount of time struggling with feelings and emotions. One day we’re good, we’re getting it done. The next day we’re a blubbering mess. We don’t plan it that way and it often takes us by surprise.
We say things like, “Where did that come from?” and “Wow, what is wrong with me today?”. We blame it on hormones, lack of sleep, disappointments, mean people…
I do it too, so believe me, I know.
Absolutely true, there are physical and medical reasons for emotional melt-downs. We live in these mortal bodies and they’re not perfect. But wouldn’t you agree, a good number of emotional melt-downs are the it’s all about me reason? The I, the self? Maybe we find it hard to readily admit the truth behind the messiness.
Photography is not my gift. I have no talent for capturing candid shots. Half the time even my cell tells me I “cannot take photo”. I know it’s nothing personal, my storage is full or some such ridiculous reason, but after a while it could give a girl a complex.
You know what’s scary?
That feature on the cell camera that flips you from focusing outward to seeing your selfie self. I don’t know about you, but it startles me. Can you relate?
Even though I have zero interest in becoming a photographer, there are cool life lessons we uncover when we expand our horizons.
Here’s an interesting fact:
When attempting night photography auto-focus will not work, there’s not enough light. So what do you do? You adjust the focusing ring to align with infinity. I have no idea what this means in photography world, but in every-day world, it makes complete sense.
While I might associate infinity with Buzz Lightyear (simmer down auto-correct, it’s Buzz’s last name) or mathematics, it brings to mind another “nity” word:
When we rely on auto-focus and allow our emotions to run on auto-pilot, a hot mess ensues. When we adjust our focus to align with eternal things, light flows in and we reflect it.
It’s no surprise auto in the Greek means self.
True, we need to self-reflect and keep ourselves in check. The whole plank out of our own eye and love your neighbor as yourself. But the cautionary tale is this:
Another great thing about photography, it’s not about the selfie, it’s about looking outward. It’s about looking beyond self and seeing things in a new way.
What or whom are we focusing on?
Life can have us going in all different directions. We’re not necessarily distracted by evil things, sinful things, but even good things and pleasant things.
Even those good and pleasant things can draw our eyes away from Jesus. It can be subtle, and isn’t that more dangerous than obvious?
Jesus came so we could have life and life more abundantly, but not at the cost of losing sight of Him.
But we’re talking about emotions here. I began writing this post a week ago, and after a blubbering-mess-melt-down, decided today was a good day to finish it. Once I took my eyes off the distraction and placed my focus back on the goodness of the Lord, the waterworks dried up and I’m good. Been there? My poor husband. He’s more glad I’m good than I am.
Living out our message makes truth a powerful thing.
When we feel disconnected and distracted by emotions, remember Jesus said this…
“‘…I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'” Matthew 28:20
When we allow our day to be ruined by emotions, we’ll miss opportunities to be a light to someone else’s lens.
Let light in. Reflect light out. Be light.
God will help us, this He has promised. Don’t be afraid to ask for the help He so generously and mercifully gives.
You are not alone. Ever.
When we focus on the Lord, our emotions transform from a blubbering mess to a joyful message.
So instead of allowing our emotions to get the best of us, let’s show the world the best of us is Jesus.
Can I ask you a personal question?
Ever feel like a third party to your own email?
Maybe the question isn’t all that personal, but it’s what I’ve been feeling lately. I open my inbox and a dam breaks as I watch a flood of emails load one after another. They’re addressed to me, but it doesn’t feel personal. I’m not talking about work email, I’m talking about personal email. It’s becoming impersonal. Can you relate?
These people emailing me?
They’re not uninvited guests. I’ve subscribed. I’ve Followed. Some offer encouragement and others offer discounts on items or courses that would benefit me. That’s not a bad thing. But I can’t do it all or buy it all. That doesn’t mean I won’t later, just not now.
So what do we do?
- Unsubscribe to posts we never open
- Set a time to open emails, then delete or take action
- Try interacting and change the one-way street to a two-way street
I went through my emails a couple of weeks ago and determined which ones I never read. Nothing personal, I just don’t have time to read them all. First, I unsubscribed. Then I entered the name of the company or blog in the search field and deleted all their emails all at once. That cleaned up the clog-up and freed needed space.
After all, I don’t love that message “cannot take photo there’s not enough available storage” while trying to take a pic of one of the grandkids attempting a soccer goal. A-nnoy-ing.
That last tip of changing the one-way street to a two-way?
Comment. Share thoughts. Interact. Even the most introverted of introverts can comment without leaving the couch. Once you narrow down the focus, you can become a more willing participant.
We can ditch being a third-party spectator by being a first-party communicator.
Those famous, well-known, too-important-to-have-time-for-me people? They are people. They have struggles, doubts, dreams, flesh and blood. Step out and comment. Even if they don’t respond, they’re probably reading their comments. True, someone may manage their comments for them, but show up anyway. Show up and get in the conversation.
You may be pleasantly surprised. It may be easier than you think to communicate with that someone who has encouraged, inspired, and influenced you. They need to hear that too. Because sometimes even they wonder if anyone is listening. Numbers don’t talk, people do.
We can translate this from cyber life to real life, but that’s another post.
So simplify your life. Unsubscribe or take part in your subscription. Take action one way or the other and you’ll find the effort rewarding.
When we change from a third-party to a first-party, that two-way street can propel us to that place we subscribed to be.
Same is true with our faith. We have our own measure but we have to participate. Stepping out in faith is showing up when we make a commitment. What we have to say can encourage others. But let’s choose our commitments and communities wisely, including whom we follow and subscribe to. Pay attention to what they’re saying because their views and values can change.
My most important subscription? I subscribe to follow Jesus and He never changes and He doesn’t need my email address. He’s the famous One, but not too famous for me. Or you.
We don’t have to be a slave to our email. We can take control.
I’m taking first-party action in regards to my email. How about you?