In Others’ Words: Are You Listening?

Quiet emotions. Bombeck. 2014

There are days when my emotions ambush me.

I’m going through my day, doing what needs to be done. Not necessarily seizing the day, but making things happen. Feeling good. Satisfied, you know?

And then suddenly I realize my emotions are all out of whack and I can’t even tell you why. At that moment, if I had to name my emotion — one of them or all of them — I wouldn’t be able to.

Because Erma Bombeck was right: emotions don’t make a lot of noise.

Pride doesn’t show up in a showy car, laying on the horn, waiting for your ego to come running out the door and hop in the passenger seat.

Anger can be as silent as steam — and burn, baby, burn.

Love  . . . well love is as silent as the sigh of a baby falling asleep in your arms. Or as raucous as a home filled with laughter that rocks the walls.

What I’ve learned is: I have to pay attention. Pay attention. If I don’t, I miss the emotions, bad or good, that ambush me and spin me out of control. I miss the reasons I am crying — and the reasons I am smiling so big my face hurts.

In Your Words: How do emotions enter your life — quietly or with fanfare? And how would you describe an emotion’s sound — pride or love or anger or fear or exhaustion or joy? 

**Jackie Layton is the winner of the copy of My One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Lisa Olsen from last Friday’s giveaway! Congratulations, Jackie! And I so appreciated everyone’s comments.**

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I’m celebrating the release of my e-novella, A November Bride, with a Rafflecopter giveaway! Enter for a chance to win a $100 Williams-Sonoma gift card and much more!! Go here to enter or click on the book cover image!

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17 Comments

  1. November 10, 2014, 6:41 am   /  Reply

    Good topic, and I was always a fan of Erma Bombeck.

    It’s also something I’ve been thinking about lately. Lately I find that pain has driven away the experience of any significant emotion. It’s as if it is a luxury I can no longer afford.

    I’m aware of what the emotions should be, but they’re like range of misty mountains in the distance.

    Not a bad way to live, but it can be distressing for those around one, because the lack of emotion is interpreted as negative emotion (“You’re mad at me!”).

    Like to expand on this – there is a theological nugget here, I think – but perhaps someone else can take it from here? I’m not up to it this morning.

    • November 10, 2014, 9:05 am   /  Reply

      I hate to think of you in so much physical pain that your emotions are muted — canceled out all tougher, my friend.
      Praying for you.
      And as always, you make me think even in the midst of your battles.

  2. November 10, 2014, 7:14 am   /  Reply

    I love your post today. Sometimes I can’t figure out my own emotions either.

    I try to be sensitive to others though and try to figure out what they are not saying so I can encourage them in some way.

    Thanks for My One Word.

    • November 10, 2014, 9:06 am   /  Reply

      Ah, and there’s the challenge — being sensitive to others and being sensitive to ourselves.
      Because we are, after all, called to love others as we love ourselves, right?

  3. November 10, 2014, 7:41 am   /  Reply

    One thing more – Happy Birthday USMC!

    When God dials 911, the Marines answer.

    • November 10, 2014, 9:06 am   /  Reply

      So Happy Birthday to you too, right? 🙂

  4. November 10, 2014, 7:49 am   /  Reply

    You are so right on with this. I appreciate, and you, and have a lot to learn.

  5. November 10, 2014, 7:51 am   /  Reply

    Wow, this was good to read after an emotional morning with the “not-so-littles.” Often I don’t stop to really feel my emotions. Usually that more intense feeling of emotion is triggered by something that is said or done.

    My husband’s love for me, for our family would sound like the steadiness of a heartbeat.

    Congratulations to the winners!

    • November 10, 2014, 9:07 am   /  Reply

      Ah, yes, Jeanne, our kids can cause our emotions to go haywire in so, so many ways!

  6. November 10, 2014, 7:54 am   /  Reply

    I agree that it’s almost impossible to hear pride. Sometimes it takes God or Him using a very courageous friend to tell you that pride rules your life. Great post. I love Erma Bombeck, too!

    • November 10, 2014, 9:08 am   /  Reply

      I love Erma Bombeck even more after what you shared about her, Pat!

  7. November 10, 2014, 8:26 am   /  Reply

    I think one of the smartest things someone ever said to me was something along the lines of “Pay attention to your emotions. Don’t ignore them. But also, don’t give them more power over you than they deserve.” I love that. I tend to be pretty even-keeled and then bam, have big bursts of emotion that take me off guard. Which frustrates me, actually, because I prefer even-keeled. LOL!

    • November 10, 2014, 9:09 am   /  Reply

      I find you remarkably even-keeled, Melissa. 🙂 Fun, funny, creative — and even-keeled.

  8. November 10, 2014, 8:38 am   /  Reply

    Ah, those darn emotions. Sometimes I wish they had an off switch. But I guess we’re made with them, God had a reason for these tears, just as he knows how fun it is to laugh. And maybe it’s better to feel, then at least we know we’re still breathing. 🙂

    • November 10, 2014, 9:09 am   /  Reply

      Yes, Cathy — given the option between feelings or no feelings I would choose emotions every time.

  9. November 10, 2014, 6:18 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, as always, your words are right on cue with what I’m going through. This weekend, my emotions were all over the map, and of course I couldn’t sort them out. But you’re right. Paying attention helps so much. It’s only when we’re truly listening that we can hear the whisper of forgiveness … or the shout of envy … or the tidal wave of grief. Love is the greatest of all because it’s more of a warm hug that starts from the inside out than a sound of any kind. At least to me.

    Thanks for sharing a little wisdom along with a little bit of pretty. Love the picture.

    Blessings,
    Andrea

    • November 10, 2014, 7:08 pm   /  Reply

      Andrea:
      I kinda had the feeling that I wasn’t the only one that had trouble sorting out their emotions — who got ambushed from time to time!
      And I’m so glad you like that #alittlebitofpretty photograph. It was a bit serendipity while I was in Monterey. A few quiet moments … some time alone in a courtyard … and that photograph!

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