Overcoming emotion before it takes over – a followup

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You may recall in a previous post the story I shared about how anger and aggravation overcame me beginning with the task of vacuuming the pool. I shared that story with my spiritual mother who advised me to say the Jesus Prayer before I begin, and during the task. It worked like a charm! I vacuumed the pool yesterday and the prayer lifted me outside of myself so that I could remain peaceful throughout the task. It had all the elements of being just as aggravating as the last time, but this time I was armed with prayer. Yet another lesson in the idea of detaching from emotion through prayer.

You would think I would then immediately apply prayer to any other time when emotion would overtake me but I still have a long way to go with this lesson. Letting go of aggravation and anger was easy in comparison to letting go of grief and self-pity.

Holidays lately have been a little difficult. I still haven’t grown totally into the empty nester role and therefore miss the kids terribly. I grieved the loss of our family together over the 4th of July holiday. Add to that a dose of self-pity because our efforts to go kayaking were thwarted yet again, this time by my husband’s back pain. I felt very badly for him, but felt sorry for myself too.

It took all weekend to turn to prayer but I finally did as I waited for a fireworks display. I had asked my husband if I could go and he said that was fine. I went and found myself feeling especially lonely and nostalgic for past days when we would go as a family. Seeing other families around me just added to the pain. I felt totally alone, until I realized I wasn’t ever alone – God was with me if I would just call on Him.

I began with the Jesus Prayer and quickly turned to the rosary. At first I looked up at the sky, thinking of heaven. Then I turned my gaze on all the people around me, asking God to bless them, and I began to see Christ in all of them. The feelings of loneliness, grief and self-pity slowly began to dissipate as I became aware of the presence of my very best Friend, the one who will never leave me, deep in my heart, and all around me too in those people.

The fireworks display seemed extra lively and bright now that I felt surrounded by friends. Maybe next time I won’t wait so long!

Copyright 2011 Susan Bailey

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About Author

As a writer, Susan Bailey shares her unique insights from her faith walk and life interests through her two blogs, Be As One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion. After the passing of her mother, Susan began reading to fill the void and it soon blossomed into writing. On Be As One Susan shares her journey of becoming whole by pulling all the different pieces of her life together into one flow directed by God. She shares her many interests and engages conversation with readers. Louisa May Alcott is My Passion offers historical analysis, reflection and fun, drawing together a community of Alcott enthusiasts. Formerly a musician, Susan appeared on EWTN, Catholic TV and at World Youth Day. As former editor of GrapeVine, she encouraged other Catholic artists through the only e-magazine devoted to the promotion of Catholic music. She was the music editor of Catholic.net, a former contributor to “Today’s Catholic Woman” on the Catholic Exchange, and regularly contributes to Catholicmom.com. Susan invites you to join her email list where you will receive updates on exciting professional developments and speaking engagements.  Email subscribers also receive special giveaways and previews of new projects. Susan loves a good conversation and looks  forward to corresponding with you! Join here.

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