Tightrope walking is both a science and an art involving acrobats positioning their bodies to balance and move across a tension wire. This amazing feat motivated the creation of the phrase: ‘walking the tightrope’ which refers to a person trying to balance two opposing views. In my opinion, we are all walking the tightrope of life as we try to balance our feelings and emotions through the ups and downs of life.
Stability and balance are states of being that is often desired because we live in a very unstable and changing world. Life is a combination of good and bad experiences that elicit reactions from us called emotions. Emotions are the feelings of joy, sadness, anger, etc. that signal a change within us or our environment. Feeling emotion is what humans use to experience life, but controlling those same emotions is what’s really important.
Many people believe that emotions just happen to us without our control: ‘If I’m sad, then I’m just sad’. However, this is not the case. We have the ability to control our emotions, because we can control our thoughts. Before any emotion is felt, we first have a thought regarding a certain situation. Based off those thoughts, we consequently feel emotion. For example, a girl experiences a breakup > thinks that she will not find love again > feels sad and lonely. This processing system occurs before every emotion whether you recognize it or not.
When we allow negative thoughts to constantly propagate our mind, we open the door to negative emotions of sadness, guilt, and shame. Emotions are powerful because they lead to behavior that affects our lives. Achieving emotional stability is essential in order to live peacefully in a chaotic world.
Controlling your thoughts may be difficult at first but can be improved with practice. When you find yourself going down the rabbit hole of certain thoughts, simply try rewording the thought in such a way that will elicit positive emotions. God has placed in you the power to control your thoughts and emotions, but we must utilize self-control and recognize our old bad habitual thoughts and replace them with new ones. Ask yourself why you feel the way you feel and what thoughts led to that emotion. Then, allow yourself to be led in a different direction.
Proverbs 23:7 – ‘For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he...’
Romans 12:2 – ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…’