• Risha Hoffman | Advocate

Pushed Some Buttons

Hmmm, wonder what the world is up to? So, I sit down, open my Mac (that may have been a plug-you decide) and start scrolling on FB. Pushing some buttons, I read the results of the keys my “friends” pushed as well. Oh, but wait a sec, their buttons are pushing my buttons! How can people post this junk? I understand we all have opinions, but really? Well, yea. I have my own as well, thinking your posts are junk and inconsiderate is exactly that! My personal story creates the reaction to what my eyes take in, forming an offense that feels like it is a direct assault on me. Before I realize what is happening, the arrorgance that is deep in my own heart begins this elliptical journey around myself.

We have seen this happen with comments to posts, as well as experienced it first hand as well. I know this is reality. What gets baffling for me, is when we are offended by what we read and start to feed into it. "What did I just let myself get ensnared in?" Well, so and so thinks this... or likes a post that I find highly offensive... or just this is just plain trifling (meaning: trivial, petty, or not worthy of trust) therefore I need to state my opinion and make sure I get my point across. “No, I’m not arguing, there is just some things you need to understand, or see about your values and opinions!” Hmmm, this is getting very sticky! Watch out, you are now heading into deep space in an orbit where you are the center. Reality check, please!

Emotions run high, people are offended, opinions are wrong, and I’m mad because of it. We have all been in the situation and seen this happen in our lives, on social media, or via our favorite entertainment. How do our emotions get in a fluster over what someone thinks or says? Why do we care? No matter who is doing the button pushing, whether viewing or experiencing, some act explosive and others don’t even flinch. Why is that? Why can some people hear gut wrenching feedback take it, while another goes off on you simply because you made an observation?

Let’s Start Off With Two Unpopular Claims.

{ Claim One } Emotions don’t descend from the heavens like rain upon you. You did not absorb them via osmosis. Others don’t make you mad, you make you mad. You and only you, create your emotions. { Claim Two} Once these emotional creations have appeared, there are only two ways of dealing with them. You can act upon them or be acted on by them. Strong emotions will master you or you will be able to keep your emotions hostage. So, how do I change so that I am not mastered? Are these claims true? Why am I so insecure? What happens between someone else’s actions/behavior and my response that is less than stellar? Okay, I get that it is mine to own when someone does something I don't like. My problem is I believe my emotions have to be the only valid response. I have every right to feel and act this way. Why should I have to look at myself when they are doing…..(fill in the blank)….?

Scenario Responses

The worst scenario to change our response: Is to not change. Continue to let my emotions keep me in bondage is fine, besides I don't notice how tight these shackles are anymore. I’m so used to them. A better scenario to change our response: If I keep my emotions under control, things will not get worse. I will keep this lump in my throat for now, and then make sarcastic jabs, and critical statements instead of dealing with this in a proper way. The best scenario: Can look like not hiding my emotions or being shackled by them either. What? I can do something different?! Oh I can think it through before I react or speak? Hmmm, I never thought of that? So, God you are asking me to be faithful in this? This petty stuff that distracts me? Like… I should think it through, pray about my feelings, and then lay it at His feet, so, my head and heart can feel peace and grace? I get to choose my emotions? That sounds like the freedom stuff you promise me, Lord!

Personally struggling often, and getting all too well, "a Messenger of Satan" constantly in my ears, and the jab of a thorn in my side, as I peer out of myself into the world. My innerscape is where my view begins. I have to ask myself when taking in my world, how will I respond to all this stimulus?

Here are some very important questions to continue to ask myself with the goal to obtain that freedom, I SOOO desperately desire.

Did I first pray? (speaking to God, especially if Im frustrated or hurt) Am I being mindful of others? Is it kind, necessary, or building up those who listen, or read my response? Am I speaking with purpose? Does responding improve being in stillness or silence?

Okay, after I observe what others are doing/saying and right before I start to feel a negative stirring, RIGHT HERE is where I insert the story I believe! Here is where I am adding meaning and my perspective on what another is thinking and feeling to a simple behavior and/or motive. Then on top of that I add judgement. Then based on this belief my body and brain responds with an emotion.

Taking control of my emotions is as simple as telling a different story? Since it is me telling my self the story, it can be one of freedom and the new creation He started in me. This is the leverage that I dearly want. Rethinking and retelling my story is how I can master my responses to offenses and hurtful words. My story can change slowly. Each day a new page I can tell HIStory of truth, where I can be caught in Christ’s freedom. Defending myself is not an option, anymore. When I hurt by what he said, or she did, I get to shut the door, fall on my knees, and talk to My Father who esteems me. Pouring out my soul with tears, and cries. He is there. Words are just mere slivers of what my heart needs to say, yet He understands. A full life is getting to feel my wounds deeply, while the intimacy of God heals them. Our emotions are about our faith. Do we believe HisStory to be the truth in our lives and circumstances? Or do we simply believe our emotions? *italicized words can be relayed as The Holy Spirit checking my natural self to a spiritual reality.

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Risha 636-697-5090

Shelly 314-448-2660

115 May Road Wentzville, MO 63385

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