I'm sure all of us have probably seen the warning label: "Contents Under Pressure". In other words, you best be careful because they might explode if not properly handled.
I unfortunately played lead role in one of those such scenes earlier today. Let me paint a word picture (mostly so you ALL can get a good laugh!). There happens to be a certain mom that gave up soda, most specifically a near gallon a day habit of diet coke. Though I without a doubt think purging my body of aspartame has been one of the smartest (yet, WELL over due!) tasks I've accomplished, I still have cravings for something besides water at times. Today, I also happened to have one of those days that random thoughts of Dad filled my heart and well...I miss him. Bradlee came up from the basement with a 2-liter of Grape Nehi that I had long forgotten was down in our "grocery store" (stockpile). It was too early in the day for him to have any, but I had promised that he could have a small amount after lunch. He wasn't about to let me forget that promise. Since Nehi reminds me so much of Dad and growing up (read about it here), I thought I might join in and have a glass. Little did I think ahead to see if Bradlee had shaken it. I was even thinking it might have been down there so long that it might not even have any fizz. I guess you can see where this is going! Yes, it exploded and covered my almost clean kitchen. It dripped down into drawers that were cracked and inside cabinets as it dripped behind doors. It showered me from head to toe. My light colored tshirt is sporting some beautiful purple streaks of large proportions. My hair is mighty fruity at the moment. My kitchen is also doubling at the moment as my sewing room. My kitchen also is the home of several ongoing projects. Yes, can't you see the seemingly never-ending fountain of sticky grape soda erupting ALL THE WAY to the ceiling! Ahhh.....
I didn't scream. I didn't cry. I didn't sulk. I didn't pitch a hissy fit or throw a tantrum. I didn't even yell at Bradlee.
Instead, I laughed. I completely laughed at myself and the situation. I'm standing there dripping with gooey, fruit smelling liquid and faced with a massive mess to clean up that I truly don't want to deal with and I laugh.
No, I haven't lost it. I haven't finally crossed from almost insane to true insanity. It was just a realization of in this moment, I have to choose. When our plates are full and we are overwhelmed, when our own contents have us under pressure and we explode....we have to choose what direction that explosion leads. Do we overflow with joy and go with the "flow" and accept Murphy's law type attitude? Do we explode in a wave of negativity and hurtfulness. Do we say things that are hurtful to those that are closest to us? Do we speak negativity to ourselves and berate ourselves for failing? Do we react in anger?
Today, I was successful in choosing the right "explosion". However, I admit that many more times that has not been the case. My reaction today taught me that it IS possible to be in control of our emotions EVEN when we are feeling out of control. I'm overwhelmed right now with responsibilities and projects I'm working on, I'm battling countless personal battles, I'm wrapped up in some tough situations that others are facing and trying to help and uplift them, etc.. My plate is VERY full right now and my "contents are under pressure". It would be easier to do something stupid (like lash out at my kids or attack my husband over an inconsequential issue as soon as he walks in the door) and then use the excuse "I was under stress" or "I was overwhelmed". THAT is the easy way. THAT is the cowards way. We do have the ability to control how we react EVEN when we feel like walls are caving in on us.
I'm not sure when the switch took place. I'm certain I will probably fail at making the right choice when "explosions" happen more than I will succeed. However, making an effort is worth it. Keeping emotions in check when things are "hot" is important. Finding ways to put myself first when I feel stress rising is essential. Taking time out to stay connected to my husband is absolutely necessary even if it means something else on the need to do list doesn't get done. Spending one-on-one time with God for no other purpose than to just be WITH HIM is life-sustaining.
We all get wrapped up in life and our contents are under pressure and sometimes just one little mishandling can cause us to explode. We may not can control the situations that push our buttons, but we certainly can practice learning how to control our reactions.
For now, I guess it's back to the purple jungle to do another round of wiping down cabinets and floors. Though I've cleaned up the initial mess, I'm sure I'm going to find more stickiness to deal with. Perhaps, God wanted to see me learn a lesson through that sticky mess and if nothing else, I'm sure I gave Him a good laugh as He watched me trying to protect myself from the geyser eruption. Good grief---it erupted as much as our science experiments with mentos in coke!!!! Surely you can admit that you are laughing right along with me!