Reclaiming your emotional energy

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Photo by Dave Carney

We all have a certain amount of energy to burn on any given day–both physically and emotionally.

Today I am going to focus on the emotional aspect.

How wisely do we spend this energy? Do we protect it and use it in the best possible ways?

OR are we throwing it away on fretting, jealousy, and anger?

It’s amazing how much MORE we can accomplish, how much MORE we can be present and available for those we love when we protect our “energy”. When WE decide where we spend it.

I won’t say that I have arrived in this area, but I have come a long, long way. In years gone by I would burn SO much energy worrying. Worrying about what I said and did. Worrying about what other people said and did. Worrying about what they THOUGHT. Crazy, right!?

It was insane just how much energy I wasted in useless worry. I would literally exhaust myself with worry. And it robbed me of emotional energy and time that could be spent on things that really, truly mattered.

AND I would rob my poor husband of his time and energy by constantly relaying my worry to him. But thankfully, for the both of us, that has all changed now.

In addition to worry, we can waste our emotional energy through discontentment.

Regardless of how fabulous our life may seem to others, there is always something that we wish were different. Often there are many things.

It might have something to do with our physical appearance, our job, our financial situation, our children (or lack of kids), our home, our relationships. The possibilities are endless.

But there is, and always will be, something in life that we can be discontent about–something we can burn our emotional energy on.

Right now I am tempted to bemoan the fact that our renovation project seems never-ending (4 years and counting), that our rental home is far from desirable (by western standards… I am blessed to have running water and heat and currently no mouse :), that I am living far from family and loved ones, that my kids aren’t currently enrolled in any classes, that I have to deal with an autoimmune disease, that finding work for Brance has seemed impossible, that my dream of growing this little blog to help more people seems just that–a dream AND… etc.

OH. You have a list too?

BUT when we go down that road–when we start thinking about all that is “wrong” with life, everything that we want to change–we waste so much precious energy. We miss all of the abundance right in front of us.

*One of the ways that I combat discontentment is with gratitude. We all have discontented thoughts that wander into our minds. And when I do I try to turn my thoughts to gratitude, to find something to be thankful for.*

Another way we burn precious emotional energy is in our responses to other people.

How easy it is to let our day rise and fall on the emotions and attitudes of other people.

But what if we no longer did that? What if we responded with love?

What if…

Someone being selfish or rude towards us didn’t mean that we had to burn precious emotional energy in response. We recognized their humanity (and our own) and gave them space. We refused to take it personally.

What if…

Someone being anxious and afraid didn’t mean that we had to respond in kind. We lent a sympathetic, kind ear without getting into emotional knots with the other person. Without allowing them to drag us into fear.

What if…

We found our self-worth outside of the opinions of others? We recognized that our value comes from something far greater than performance or possessions or beauty OR acceptance (!!!). We felt secure as children of God.

What if…

The possibilities and redeemed emotional energy are endless.

Let’s change the world by reclaiming our emotional energy. Our lives and the lives of those we love will be all the better for it!

With love,
Lauren