We all have those days… things at work go horribly by either a project flopping that you needed to knock out of the park… or maybe you needed to be the messenger of some less than happy news. Bad days don’t only happen at the office either. Some days the kids are in rare form and they just do not resemble the child you were parenting yesterday. Some days are full of fits, yelling, and defiance.
Whether you are a parent who stays at home with your children or someone who spends the day in the workforce, bad days happen and they greatly influence the way we interact with those around us. I know I have been there before with my wife. Something has happened or is happening and I return to her agitated and taking out my frustration on her – when of course she deserves none of it.
Regardless of the relationships you have, the baggage we carry into them, from whatever obstacles our days contain, can eat away at that relationship. We often bring or carry anger, frustration, and despair into interactions which have nothing to with the cause of those emotions. This is not something that only happens to some people… It happens to EVERYONE.
I’d like to share a few things with you and then I think it would be very helpful for you to share anything that may have proved to be a beneficial strategy for you personally.
- Create Space: If it is work that has facilitated your emotional state then maybe the drive home can be used as this space. Parents, it can be as simple as asking your spouse for 15-20 minutes to go for a run or run through a coffee drive-thru.
- Pursue The Comforter: For those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, we have been given a great gift which the Bible calls the Comforter. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit. As you create some space spend that time in prayer asking for The Comforter to bring peace to your heart and state of mind. We should also feel comfortable praying through our frustrations and specifically asking God to give us the ability to not harbor anger towards those who love us (and often times have nothing to do with the cause of our frustration). Thanks to our modern technology we usually always have God’s Word around us. Open his Word and allow the Holy Spirit to apply truth to your heart.
- Communicate Honestly: As you come into contact with your relationships with which you live life, it is important that you communicate how you are feeling. I know, depending on the circumstances, there might be times when all of the details can’t be said. However, letting a spouse, friend, or loved one know that you are processing a very difficult day can facilitate some grace and understanding. Rather than them thinking they have wronged you in some way, they will understand that you are impacted by outside circumstances. You will also often find that God will give them words which you need to hear in those moments.
- Find Perspective: In my own circumstances I will often just observe a moment of my children playing together. Other times I may grab one of them for a random hug as they are running and playing around the house. I’ve done the same with my bride. I’ve also called a friend, not calling to vomit my circumstances necessarily but just some small talk to be encouraged by the friendship God has provided. These moments can pull us out of the hole we find ourselves in and bring some perspective to our hearts which demonstrate that there is more to our life than the circumstances that filled our day.
There are many other thoughts that could be shared… these are just a few which are usually on my radar as I am journeying through life’s roller-coaster.
How about you? Do you have strategies in place which allow you to process bad circumstances rather than pushing them as ticking time-bombs into the other relationships in your life?
Matt Powell serves as teaching pastor at Crossings Community Church, a body of believers whose mission is to engage, equip, and empower homes for gospel transformation in Katy, TX.