Choosing our Reactions

If the event had never happened I wouldn’t be feeling this way. True. It is our reaction to events that makes us feel stress, uncomfortable. Our lives sometimes can feel like we’re dodging things. “I don’t want to do that because it makes me feel this way.”

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With God, we can bring any event. Any emotion or feeling, and pain to Him and He will comfort us. As you react to something and it creates unwanted feelings or stress, bring it to God. Ask Him to let it pass through you instead of lingering.

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This is Radical Acceptance. I acknowledge that his event happened but, with God, I can choose how to react to it. In DBT, (Dialectic Behavior Therapy) the trick is to identify the event that made you feel a certain way. It’s called the “Prompting Event.” How does that prompting event make you feel? Worried, scared? You choose.

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When Tyler died, as you might believe, I had trouble accepting the reality of it. He is my child, born from me, and now he is gone from this world. You have read my struggles with this. Hopefully you have seen me grow with God through this.

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I read in Jesus Lives an entry in which Sarah Young paraphrases Jesus as saying, “Pick up the pieces of your broken heart- scattered all around you- and bring them to me.” She goes on to say, “Sit still in my Holy Light while I cleanse you from binding webs of discouragement.”

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I like that. What a picture of Jesus cleansing off my webs on a sheet of linen. “Though your disappointment is real, my Presence with you is even more real.” I know my emotions move like a wave through me. I am not always sad, missing Tyler. I can choose another emotion- gratefulness, praise, because he is in Jesus’ arms right now. I can pick up all those sadness feelings and bring them to Jesus.

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The verse that is associated with this reading is this:

“The Spirit of the Lord…has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Isaiah 61:1

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Radical Acceptance is admitting that what happened, happened, accepting it with your heart, mind and body. It is accepting that life is worth living even if there is pain in it, but rejecting reality turns pain into suffering. We begin to go to the what if’s and should have’s when we reject reality, and that’s when the suffering comes in. We prolong the pain.

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I think that scene of Jesus cleansing me would be a great mindfulness exercise when I’m feeling sad. As I am cleansed of my grief I can come out of mindfulness knowing that God will never leave me, that He is working to mend my broken heart. I can come out of it refreshed and that is a change of emotion.

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