Bottled Up Emotions: Casting All Your Cares

My heart's been feeling heavy lately, and I'm not sure why. I mean, I can list off a ton of heartbreaking stories, but none of it is sticking out right now. I just have the 'blahs' but yet, I'm okay. Last night, I sat in my little prayer room upstairs, lit some candles and was going to just pray and tell God everything. But nothing came out of my mouth. I even tried to muster stuff up in my mind---things I wanted to get off my chest, but nothing came out. Nothing was standing out in my mind. There were all frivolous types of thoughts going on: "Make sure to prep for my virtual meeting 1pm---Did I check my bank account to see if that fraudulent charge was cleared---Will our town shutdown again---What if I get sick again---What if, what if, what if...." I kept hearing in my heart, "Tell me everything." Nothing but unimportant things were surfacing, and I felt something deep inside tugging at me---giving me interrupted sleep for the past couple of nights. I took a deep breath and just sighed out a request, "Just please talk to me instead, I can't seem to hear you lately" but I didn't hear anything. 

Early this morning, I woke up at 6:30, put the coffee on, and then made breakfast for Mad, Lola and myself. Yes, I make doggy bacon and one egg for my little fur baby. Don't judge. If I don't get up in time, Lola will climb up on me and whine right into my ear. As I was cooking their eggs, tears started falling. I don't even know why. I don't even know what I was thinking. My heart just felt so incredibly heavy. I think the gang may've gotten a few tears in their eggs this morning. Then Madelene tapped my shoulder and said, "Need a hug?" And yes. I. did. --I needed a big ol' bear hug. 

When I sat down, I shuffled through emails & social media, and then just cleared my head to start work. But something stood out. My friend posts these daily Christian devotionals up on her Facebook account. In fact, my screen locked onto it---I couldn't get out of it, because I was trying to put my phone back down and opt out of the app. 

This came up. 

Every morning, before my feet even hit the ground, I say the last scripture in Psalm 118:24, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Always. But my mind wasn't thinking about anything sad, it was fearing the worst again. My mind regressed back to when it was March---when we got blasted with COVID, the lockdowns, the social distancing, the masks, the "time out" --- or --- the "New York Pause." The world stopped. Not a soul to be found anywhere, other than in a park or a long line waiting for food outside of Walmart. It looked like we went straight into communism overnight. I remember feeling this heaviness---our world as we know it is simply gone....just. like. that. I mourned for what was, and really didn't know if we'd ever go back to "normal" again. The phrase, "the new normal" was bullshit to me. I'm not accepting a "new normal"---that's what you say when a loved ones passes away. That's what you say if the world is indefinitely, gone. But, is it gone? Have we lost the world? 

So when I sat down, and God said to me through that devotional, "In order to hear me, you must release all of your worries into my care." I guess I haven't been doing that. It's heartbreaking to scroll through social media posts, seeing people predicting the death of our president. "Oh he's not going to make it through the second wave of his illness, buh-bye Trump!" People are happy that our president is ill! What has happened to our world? Whatever happened to praying for someone who's sick? What about loving your enemies? What happened to our society? I was also reading tweets straight from ER doctors. One doc stood out to me, as he predicted the "crash" of Trump's second wave of his illness, but more alarmingly, the responses on his tweet were from EMTs, hospice workers as well as hospital staffers---they all said hoped for the same thing. 

Well, Mr. Grumpy Doc, he's still here and he's going to recover. Or, I hope he fully recovers, no matter if I like or dislike him. And beyond Twitter, I caught a "friend" live streaming on Facebook. Her title was, "F*** Donald Trump and F*** You For Supporting Him!"

This woman was also wishing death on the president, as you can see the hashtag, #donnyfor6ftunder. You have to have a whole lotta' hatred in your heart to wish that sort of thing. Even if the person is the worst person you've ever known, wishing death on someone is the same thing as murder in the Bible. There's good in everyone. In 1 John 3:15, it states, "Everyone who hates a brother or sister in a murderer, and you know that murderers don't have eternal life residing in them." So what this says to me, is basically, if you hate someone in your heart, you have no *life* living within you. It means that you're already dead inside. It doesn't mean that God won't forgive you---it means that you need help. You need to get that darkness out of your heart, in order to have eternal life, and a life worth living in the here and now. Only miserable and sad people will wish this sort of thing on someone. 

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." --Ephesians 4:31-32

We have more in common than social media portrays. But let's bring it down even locally. What about the people around you? Some have grievances towards one another. Something happened in the past that they never forgave each other for. And there's always three sides to a story: yours, theirs, and the truth. "Truth" be told, some people don't see the scenario as "you" do. Meaning, their side of the story is seen from a different perspective---not necessarily in a disagreeing manner. We all have our own personal problems and issues. On top of that, to have arguments and grievances toward one another just puts the cherry on top. 

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The second greatest commandment He says is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. 
--Matthew 22:36-40 

And then I had to think about my own circumstances here at home. I recently had an issue on Sunday morning. The new neighbors who I share a wall with were blasting rap music as early as 6:30 am. Normally, I love hearing people having fun, listening to music or even people having parties. It makes my heart happy to hear happiness around me. But 6:30am on a Sunday morning---your happiness is my anger. And so, I was furious. I didn't sleep well the night before, and I just couldn't understand for the life of me, why anyone would be blasting music this early. Our mirrors and picture frames were all rattling. This went on until 2pm. At one point, I punched our shared wall. I understand this is "community living," but there are exceptions, like being considerate to those around you. Common sense 101: blasting music at 6:30 am on a Sunday morning is going to make for bad neighbors. It trickled over into complaining to my friend who lives in the next building over. After a couple of days, I cooled off and realized, maybe this is how they live. Maybe this is their routine. Just because I don't understand it, doesn't mean it's not "their norm." So later today, I'll be gifting them a basket of goodies and welcoming them to our neighborhood. A little kindness goes a long way, although my friend was laughing over the way I reacted and going on and on about it. I was fuming. So not worth it, especially if you literally have to live with people, even if it's a shared wall. So, lesson learned. Technically, I have to love thy neighbor. Back in the day, that term was used in a literal sense. We only knew our neighbors, because we didn't have technology to call someone, or have much of a chance to grab our nearest donkey and visit someone. Our neighbors were the ones we had to be "family" with. Shouldn't it that way today? It's so important to make allowances for one another, forgiving each other, even if you don't understand it. Communication is so important as well. So next time my neighbor is exercising to her rap music way too early on a Sunday morning, maybe I'll walk over with a box of donuts and ask if she could lower it. (Yes, the donuts are the revenge portion of it.) 
I'm trying to release the "static" out of my system. I didn't even know I had any in me. I had an array of negative emotions, from anger, grief, fear, bitterness and sadness. I didn't release them fully. But the evidence was, that it was keeping me up at night, and kept giving me shallow thoughts. I couldn't focus on meaningful things, especially focusing on God and how to pray and meditate. So when your mind feels scrambled like an egg, before you start dropping tears into them, start releasing all of your cares to God. 

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