So this morning I had a post ready to go and it was good y’all. I was ready to post it and BAM, I got the strongest feeling of “Don’t do it.” It was intense y’all! I was like okay this is clearly God stopping me from posting. So I prayed about it and I knew I had no business posting the blog I wrote. I was kind of hurt because I really wanted to get you all’s feedback, but I knew that wasn’t the right way. Instead, I will discuss what I learned about myself in this situation and some tips to help you avoid making the same mistake.
So here is the short version of the backstory: I meet a guy, we started seeing each other. Two years later, we stopped dating. Eight months after that, I received a message from him that stirred up some old feelings. A few days later, we are at the same event and I saw him with a date. I responded to the situation in an emotional way, and admittedly, we were both upset with the other. Thirty-six hours later, we resolved the situation and cleared up some miscommunication and decided to allow our relationship to go back to what it was before this encounter. *deep breath*
I know a lot.
As I prayed for direction when I knew I couldn’t post my original blog, I came across a list I wrote during a seminar about the traits of a godly woman. I started to read the traits over and over and the trait of being sober stuck out. Of all the traits listed it was the one trait I did not exemplify. I react out of emotion more times than not. It was the lesson in all of this, I need to learn to respond soberly.
Let’s take a second and define what I mean by sober. Sober in this context is about not allowing your emotions to take over and be the guiding force in how you respond to a situation. In most cases, when you respond in a incoherent state, you look back and you wish you could change what you said or how you said it.
Now that we understand what sober is, let’s look at my situation and discuss the power of being sober.
The entire time I dated this guy I reacted out of emotion. I would feel a certain way and react on it immediately and within 24 hours, I was back peddling my way out of a situation I helped create or caused to escalate.
So on Saturday after seeing him and his date, I was overwhelmed with so many emotions from “Man, he still looks good” to wanting to know where this new girl came from. I responded in the most typical way by sending the infamous “Have a good life” text. I know, I know. That was not the best way to respond, but in the moment, I let my emotions decide how to respond. Luckily my situation did not end horribly, but it could have very easily based off that response.
Responding in a sober mindset is powerful. Being able to state how you feel and the reasoning without heightened emotions will allow you think clearly and not make fast, harsh decisions. I’m not saying feelings aren’t valid, but what I am saying is that you can’t make sound decisions off of feelings alone. Think about the last time you reacted when your emotions were at an all-time high. Do you wish things went differently? That you would have reacted differently?
So how do you remain sober in the moment?
1. Know that your first response may not be your best response.
It’s easy to say the first thing that comes to your mind, but it’s not necessarily always the right thing to say. Sometimes no response is the best response. When you give yourself a moment to process the situation you are better able to make a sound rational response that you won’t later regret. Also, petty responses do not help situations when emotions are high. A practical strategy would be to count to 10 in your head and then respond. This allows you time to actually process what was said or done to you and how you should properly respond.
2. Just walk away.
This is the one good thing I did on Saturday. When I was overwhelmed with emotion in the moment, I excused myself from the situation. Walking away is not the same as running from the situation, but a really good tool that allows you to breathe and regain the ability to rationally think. But don’t be like me and walk away, continue to talk about the situation, and then text the person. It defeats the purpose of walking away. I know it may be hard, but it will help you return to a sober state. Walking away might not be something you can do every time but it could also be beneficial to take a mental walk. Respond with a “Can we discuss this in a few minutes?” and start thinking positive thoughts such as scripture or affirmations.
This honestly should be your first response to any situation. As Christians, we know that giving every area of our life to God is the best way to live. So why not pray when you become overwhelmed with emotion? You can say a quick prayer such as, “God, at this moment I am overwhelmed with emotions and I want my response to reflect You. Please allow the words that I speak to be honoring to You. I submit this situation entirely to You. Amen.”
I hope these tips will help you the next time you are in a situation where you are heated. Have you been in a situation like mine? How did you respond? If you use these tips let me know if they helped you remain sober!
“The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.” – Proverbs 10:32 NLT