Do you ever get an uneasy feeling as though everything you do is upside down? Your day is a falling apart and you seem to be taking one step forward and three steps backward; you just feel miserable and although you are trying to get things done everything seems to be taking far longer than usual. You are just having a blue day, you feel lethargic; you know the feeling! I will share with you what helps me and maybe it will help you also.
Sit down in a comfortable chair and take a few deep breathes.
Take the time to focus on your feelings.
Open your hands, your heart and your head to the Spirit within.
Put yourself in the presence of God.
A long time ago a good friend of mine taught me about a personal practice he has that helps him cope in those times when his day is not going well. It is a good practice and I use it often. This practice is called taking an H.A.L.T. inventory which means that I ask myself four questions each related to one of the letters in the word halt.
Hungry? When I have answered this question I know what I need to do. If the answer is yes I need to stop and eat and, if the question is no then I know this is not a concern at this time.
Angry? When I have answered this question I may have some interior work to do to resolve my problem. If the answer is yes then I have to determine what I am afraid of because anger is a secondary emotion and anger comes from fear. I have to ask myself, what am I afraid of? If I am not honest with myself then I will not succeed in resolving the inner conflict I am feeling. Very often when I honestly answer the question, what am I afraid of I will discover that my anger is no longer a problem. Once I deal with the fear there is no more anger and so I can move on. This is because anger is secondary emotion that stems from fear a primary emotion which causes unresolved fear to turn inward and become an anger problem.
Lonely? This is a difficult question to answer at times because too often we confuse the feeling of being alone with the feeling of loneliness. If I discover that I am just feeling alone then I have to decide how to change my situation. Perhaps I am alone by choice and I simply need to reach out to someone by phone or in person. Maybe I just need to take a walk and get out of the house for awhile or some other similar activity. Sometimes simply sitting down and reading a good book is all I need to do.
If the answer to this question is I am lonely, I feel left out; I feel as though no one cares; I feel that others are not even aware of my presence and similar responses. This then is a different problem and I have a responsibility to seek help in resolving the conflict I feel. Unresolved anger is often the cause of loneliness. Anger turned inward is a good definition of depression and loneliness often stems from depression. A good definition of depression is hope that has grown insipid or sour; hope that we have chosen to abandon; we have made a choice to no longer believe and trust as we slowly let go of hope.
Unresolved depression can turn to despair and once in despair there are only two choices, self-destruct or run for help. So because of the above information I need to be very careful when I ask myself if I am lonely, I must be honest and I must resolve do what is necessary to resolve this conflict. If the answer is truly yes then I have some work to do now, not tomorrow or next week.
Tired? Most of today’s adult population can answer yes to this question on a regular basis. And it is time for us to do something about this. Chronic fatigue has become a very common problem and too often it begins with our inability to recognize that we are human and human beings require rest. God made the night so we could have a time to rest, to sleep, to heal from the day and be rejuvenated for tomorrow. But instead of resting, we have a tendency to keep pushing to stay up late at night to watch television as a means for dulling our inner conflicts. Sometimes television is means we use to avoid thinking! Instead of staying up late we need to be good to ourselves by going to bed and allowing ourselves to be healed from the pressures of the day through God’s gift of sleep just give it all to God.
After my HALT inventory I need to do one more thing and that is…
(Discovered on a Church Parking lot sign)
Pray…I offer thanks, praise and homage to the Lord. I surround all I do in prayer!
Until…I never stop praying! God’s answers are “yes, no, maybe later and you do it!”
Something…I feel better, I know what I need to do to help myself if I keep praying.
Happens…I become happy sometimes even joy-filled for the rest of my day.