In the Heat of the Night

29 04 2010

“In the heat of the night when you know it ain’t right,  but you do what you want to do” – lyrics to a song by Pat Benatar “In the Heat of the Night”

There are many singers who have a song with the title “In the Heat of the Night”.  There’s Ray Charles, Bryan Adams and Pat Benatar just to name a few.  Each song while the title is the same, the lyrics are a little different.  However what they DO have in common is that they all talk about what happens in the Heat of the Night….TROUBLE!!!   Well, the key to living in peace is to figure out how to have peace right in the middle of your own trouble or storm.   To tell you the truth, one of the hardest parts for me in my plight for peace, was learning how to keep cool, be calm, ya know not loose my mind in the midst of my own storms.  Now on this one I have to say that I have a pretty bad temper, or at least I used to.  For me to find tranquility in middle of  MY temper,  I had to learn how to find that peace in the midst of that NO HE DIDN’T moment.   Many of you that did not know old funky Nicole back in the day will not believe that I used to be one of those roll your neck kind of sista’s, ya know rolling my neck and always having a attitude about something.  Well one day it hit me.  It takes so much more energy to be negative than it does to be positive.  Being negative is draining and kept what I call a black cloud over my head.  Instead, I discovered that being positive feels so dog on good.  It makes me feel sunshine inside 24/7.

So how did I find the peace within myself?  Well first I had to make a choice.  A choice for peace.  A choice that NO ONE was going to steal my joy or as I like to say, when I need to talk myself back into my calm corner, “I am not going to allow that person to steal my ticket to heaven!”  So when I feel that rage that comes within, I shut my mouth.  I shut my mouth until the rage passes and I can calm down before I speak or act. You see what I learned is that when you speak out of a negative emotion, you say things you wish you had not said.  You do things you wish you would not have done, you become something or someone you often regret.  Unfortunately once you say things, you cannot go back with a pencil and erase them.  So I set out on a mission some years ago to get control of my anger. To be a woman that finds that peace in the midst of the storm, the storm for me would be my anger rage.  So if you ever see me off in some corner quiet, leave that Nicole alone because I am trying to sleep in the midst of the storm that is raging inside of me.   

What I have learned in the process is that negative emotions keep you stuck, not able to move and get past the place you are currently in.  That is what they intend to do, keep you stuck!  They get a hold of you and take over your thoughts and keep you stuck so that you cannot see past were you are to get where you are going.    Once I made the decision, the choice to get control of my rage, I realized that I cannot control what other people do or say but I CAN control how I allow them to affect me.  I can control if I allow them to steal my peace, my joy!  It is in this place that I actually began to lean more on God, knowing that I probably won’t understand everything that happens to me, nor do I have to.  Instead I began to trust God and began to find a rainbow in every storm just in the simple act of letting go of the negative and seeking only that which is good.   I was then that I realized that as I sought out good, good is what was being produced in my life.    So when I think of the heat of the night I think of this  – I remember hearing the saying somewhere that “being angry might win the argument but it does not win the war.”  Hmmm interesting so really think about it, where do you get when you feel any negative emotion?  Where does anger, anxiety, depression or anything of the like get you?   What is anger but the desire for vengeance which means you must continuously focus your thoughts on how YOU are going to pay someone else back!  Instead move on from it and let go, realizing that “for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” – Romans 12:19b  and trust me, when I have let go of my anger I have seen how God gets vengeance fand it is REMARKABLE!!  I have to tell you that once I tapped into this and I was able to move my emotions into a positive space and move on from the situation, I actually have seen God handle some folks in ways that I could have never imagined.

What about anxiety or worry?   “Be anxious for nothing” – Philippians 4:6a.  Webster’s dictionary defines anxiety as a painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind; a fearful concern or interest; an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.  Does that not all sound negative!!  Thinking of that, take a look at the second part of that same bible verse as it says – but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God – Philippians 4:6b.  So again it is leading us to TRUST.  To not lean on our own understanding but to give your anxiety to God!  The same section goes on to say – “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:7  Would we not rather feel good and move on from a situation, knowing that God’s got our back and He has it covered!!!

Well what about depression? Hmm this one is a hard one.  The first thing that comes to my mind is the bible verse that says that God will not put more on you than you can bear (I Corinthians 10:13) and so I must tell you in my moments of depression, whether it was over a lost job, a back stab from a broken friendship or bad breakup, I have stopped in my depressed roll in the floor crying state and thought to myself “ WOW God must think I am the BOMB! Because HE thought I could handle this!!” Sometimes I have to say that over and over and over again until I feel what I am saying but when I think of God thinking I am capable, than why the heck do I think I am not capable of handling it?  Do you see where I am going?   

Why do I tell you all of this?  Well some of life’s most difficult experiences are the result of our or other people’s actions or choices and these are the things that leave us angry, bitter, anxious, or depressed to say the least. Whether they intended to hurt us or not, one of the surest ways to remain hurt and acting out of anger, anxiety, depression etc…is to keep a negative emotion looming well after the act has passed.  The overarching thing I have learned over time is something my mother used to always say to me, “ don’t let your emotions get the best of you”.  When I was little I thought my mother was talking crazy but now I get it as I strive to move past negative to find my way through the darkest night back into the morning light as I sleep until I get there on my own boat in the midst of a storm.   So this weeks question to ponder is, what emotion do you need to get control of so that you can sleep in the midst of your storm?

“Don’t hold on to anger, hurt or pain.  They steal your energy and keep you from love.” – Unknown

 “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; YOU are the one who gets burned – Budda

 A man (or woman) who is a master of himself can end sorrow as easily as he can invest in pleasure.  I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions.  I want to use them, to enjoy them and to dominate them.” – Oscar Wilde

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One response

4 05 2010
JC Ellis

First of all, I can’t imagine you popping your neck unless it’s in jest! Your blog reminded me of James 3:3-12 which summarized says that the tongue is a small part of our body, but it’s verey powerful. It’s difficult to tame the tongue, we praise God and curse man with the same tongue, so we must learn to tame this small, powerful part of our body. I’m guilty of it too. Like a sniper, my tongue has laser beam accuracy, knowing exactly where to strike my victim. Thanks for reminding me to zip it and pray.

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