Archives for August 2015

The Never-Ending Quest

Setting healthy limits and managing conflicting emotions is a never-ending quesWeightBaggaget for women, no matter how old we are. However, this quest can be especially challenging for teens who are still developing in many ways. You’re trying on different personas in a quest to find your identity, and combined with the hormonal changes of puberty (what a yucky word, but there’s really nothing else to explain this equally yucky time) followed by the turbulence of adolescence; it’s easy to become confused, frustrated, and simply lost. The result is that it becomes easier to make not-so-smart choices or to simply passively go where you really don’t want to go.

The weight from the baggage of bad choices adds up quickly. The more baggage you carry throughout the years, the harder it becomes to unpack. If you’re not careful, your mind and heart can begin to look like the inside of a house on a TV episode of “Hoarders,” cluttered, desperate, and dangerous to navigate. The only way to keep from getting buried under a mess of emotions and experiences is to learn the critical importance that boundaries have in your life, and the valuable skill of how to make smart choices based on rational thinking and not just on emotional feeling.

Teens are perfectly capable of making good decisions when their minds are calm, but the part of the brain that helps you manage emotions is still developing, so you’ll naturally have a harder time calming your emotions down, and that’s when bad judgment often triumphs over good judgment.

It’s good to have emotions—it’s good to be able to feel things deeply and passionately.

However, the trouble comes when we lack self-control and place our feelings and emotions above our safety, or above the safety of someone else.


Excerpt from A Young Woman’s Guide to Setting Boundaries, (c) 2014, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon  Young Woman's Guide to SB

Emotions Keep Us Alive

Emotions are powerful signals. When we’re trying to understand something or make a decision, our emotions can help us determine whether our conclusions are valid. For example, when we think about something that contradicts our values, our emotions will tell us it is bad. When we think about something that could hurt us, our emotions will tell us it isn’t a good idea. Simply imagining what might happen triggers emotions that can help us make better decisions.

At least that’s the way it is supposed to work.EmotionsAlive

This speaks directly to the universal law of cause and effect—for every action there is a reaction or response. The energy of our intentions flows outward, affecting many other people. Therefore we need to speak, think, and behave with great thoughtfulness and compassion. We need to say what we mean and mean what we say with firmness and love.

When emotions are used as social signals, they help people decide how to behave toward each other. This is generally very useful. If someone is looking angry, approaching him for a favor might not be a good idea. If he is looking afraid, perhaps he needs help. We generally wear our hearts on our sleeves. Our inner emotions are often displayed on our outer bodies. Our faces, in particular, have around 90 muscles, 30 of which have the sole purpose of signaling emotions to other people, such as anger, sadness, fear, and joy.

Viewing our emotions as signals from God can be a powerful tool in helping us to understand what is going on inside of us.

In essence, emotions keep us alive. That doesn’t mean we’re alive because we have emotions. We’re alive because God created us. God is the author of life and the Creator of our emotions. We are born with God-given emotional needs for love, significance, and security, and God can help us understand and calm our emotions. The Bible says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (   Jeremiah 1:5).

Setting Boundaries for Women (02

Excerpt from Setting Boundaries for Women, (c) 2013, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon