Resist Opening the Floodgates

When you can sense that tension is running high (does any parent of young children ever get a full minute to sit down?) and stress is tangible (did you know that kids leave a trail of all sorts of stuff behind them wherever they go?) and emotions are hot to the touch (two- and three-year-olds are not the only ones with reactionary impulses! (is that redundant?)), one of the most helpful things we can do to help ourselves as the adults in the room is to resist opening the floodgates.  If something is important enough to have a conversation about, then do it at another time when tension, stress, and emotions aren’t in such a volatile state.  Anger begets anger (for example—as negativity makes more negativity and positivity makes more positivity)—so if you’re already feeling angry about something, let those negative feelings subside before you tackle something that’s going to stir you up again.  Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a non-stop erupting volcano that won’t be able to be turned off quite as easily as it can now, in the early stages of “negative feeling tone” detection.  This is where self-control earns its keep.  And more.  We might not always feel like doing the right thing (especially when we’ve really and truly had enough of whatever it is that we feel is wronging us), but we know that doing the right thing (such as staying in control of ourselves even when we are feeling tense, stressed, and emotional) always produces the best result.  We can still address whatever it is that is bothering us, but we don’t have to do it right now in the middle of everything else.  We can choose when and how to handle the issues that need to be handled instead of relying on in-the-moment feelings when the sands are shifting too much.  Plant your feet down, anchor yourself in the divine help that you have, and let the wave of this moment settle.  Then proceed as it seems best.

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