Navigating Your Negative Self-Talk and Overwhelming Anxiety

Is59 19How do you respond to overwhelming emotions? Positive or negative self-talk?

Fearful thoughts escalated into a full-blown panic attack as I faced a crisis with my mother over a decade ago. As I waited for the doctors to diagnose her medical condition, I began to do some research of my own. And everywhere I turned, the facts were grim.

I knew my mother was facing a battle for her life. And my emotional red flags were rippling high overhead. I had many questions but very few answers.

But I remembered seemingly impossible situations where God had intervened. And I knew who I needed to turn to in a battle. I also knew my emotions and logic are always unreliable in a tough situation.

Jesus warned his disciples that there would be a day coming when they would endure difficult times. “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:33 The Message).

What is Jesus saying here? I believe he’s reminding his disciples to turn to him when they find themselves in trouble. But how do we seek the Lord during difficult days? I believe the answer lies in prayer and meditating on God’s Word.

RedFlags

How do you respond to overwhelming emotions? What are you worried about today? Are you anxious about something beyond your control? How would you describe your emotional reactions when you are worried?

  • Past. List some of your past worries. How did you deal with them?
  • Present. List the issues that worry you today. Are you anxious, fearful, or in a panic about them now? How are you responding to them?
  • Future. What fears do you have about the future? Are you worried about things that you have no control over right now?

GraceTalk

Which scriptures help you seek God in a crisis? Which verses help you manage your emotional reactions?

Reflection

Do you recall some of the struggles you’ve been through involving your faith?

This excerpt taken from my eBook, RESTNotes. Be sure to get your FREE copy today!

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The Heart of An Artist

Hands of Businesswoman Using LaptopWe think, we feel, we bleed on the page. We’re sewers of words, stitch by stitch until our heads unravel fuzzy.  Hey, are you talking to me?

People don’t always “get” us, and we’re okay with that because we already know we’re a bit strange, no shocker. Our dearest people love us anyway.

We writers draw boundaries and let our voice mail field calls. We plop our rears on chairs and pop up prayers and Advils and away we go, ready to transport our readers.

A thousand distractions call, but we have a dream-scream and God put it there. And if God put it there, nobody can take it away. And who needs to clean her house anyway? We have books to write.

We’re emotional creatures, God bless us. We’re well endowed with feelings. We love and hate our emotions with a passion. We get a high when we make readers laugh, cry, and get angry, boom-boom-boom, sometimes all at the same time.

My husband wipes his eyes as he reads the fruit of my year-long labor. He’s lost in the part where Ema McKinley swallows her grandsons into a hug. It’s her first hug since the miracle. And as Ema absorbs the feel of those boys, my husband sniffles and I swell. Swell with the joy of the craft and the miracles and the emotion-packed words.

Jesus had emotions. Remember how he wept? To love is to feel, and when Lazarus died, Jesus felt what we’d feel. In love, He felt for us.

We feel for our audience when we write, and this is our love gift.  We want to love them closer to something. Just like Jesus, the Living Word, wants to love us closer to Himself.

Hey, big-hearted artist, what do you love most about writing? What drives you to do what you do?

Beautiful words stir my heart. I will recite a lovely poem about the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet. Psalm 45:1

Are Fiction Writers Schizophrenics?

Writing takes discipline, focus, energy, and empathy for our characters. That’s why I write in the morning before my mind sidetracks to real problems and outside distractions. A rested mind opens the doorway to my fictional world. We must create doorways in and out of our fictional minds.

But here’s the catch, the doorways must revolve.

Yesterday, I wrote a scene containing a climactic, heated argument between two characters. I pounded the keyboard with vigor! But today I need to patch things up between them—as humbling and draining for me as if it’s happening in real life. Not so fun. If the argument was real, a family member could have listened, supported, or at least consoled me. Or I could have had a good bawl—something to release those pent-up emotions.

Who understands what it’s like to simultaneously juggle the real and alternate worlds? And I’m not even talking to-do lists, just mindset. We enter an imaginary world and leave it carrying baggage—real emotions. This is why writers need interaction with other writers.

We are the only ones who GET IT.

In my last novel, my preacher hero got the hives twice because I used allergies to create a bond with his heroine. While I enjoyed writing these humorous scenes, I got the hives for an entire week, even longer than it took to write the scenes. It was awful. Every time I quit taking Benadryl, I broke out in welts. Besides scratching, I started to fret about mind-power and what might happen next. Hubby thought it was hilarious.

Poor guy. He doesn’t think it’s so funny when he has to bear the brunt of my emotional writing baggage. Depending upon a day’s creation, I can do the garbanzo dance or crawl into a hole. Sometimes I’m so drained, I even feel antisocial on Bunco night. Hubby dreads my deadlines as much as I do.

Worst is when I stand in the doorway of both worlds. When things are flowing, it’s hard to quit. Right when I’m in the middle of an adrenalin high, real life beckons. I have to zap out of it, leave things hanging. When that happens, I become a zombie. I go through the motions of cooking dinner and even dinner conversation, but my soul is missing.  I haven’t found the doorway back to reality or else I’m just not ready to move through it. One arm’s lagging, grasping at other world insanities. Am I the only one who experiences this?

Do we feel guilty or secretive about spending the day in an imaginary place, especially after being the villain who plots disaster for our unsuspecting characters, or after writing a love scene? How do we stuff emotional baggage and greet family with a smile?

What doors transport us from one world to the other?

Gulp.

Are we on the brink of schizophrenia?

Or am I just imagining this?