Mood Swings…

I’ve learned over the years that people are human and have mood swings, regardless of how talented they are. Today, I’m looking at life from a realistic point of view instead of the way I would want things to be. Otis Williams

Meditation: Being human means having mood swings. Some of us experience them every few hours, others every few days. Our “emotional body” (or our heart as the Bible calls that place where our emotions are at home) is a vital part of who we are. Spending time with teenagers every day, I experience the ups and downs of their mood swings first hand. I am learning to take the highs or the lows neither personally nor too seriously, while respecting the experiences that prompt those mood swings. I am trying to stay present with my daughters where they are at each moment, instead of telling them how they “should feel”. At times I am being impacted by certain moods that “come at me”. The challenge is not to take on the energy that comes my way, but to understand that I am a safe place for my daughters to unload, to express and to practice “tolerating and holding” their emotions. Often as parents we need to be the ones “holding” the mood swings for our children, until they can hold them themselves. “Holding” means not reacting, not punishing, not judging and not ridiculing. As I accept my daughters’ (and my own) mood swings, they (and I) learn to accept the broad spectrum of our human experience. When we feel accepted with our contradictions, our sometimes extreme reactions and feelings, we learn to accept ourselves. And acceptance usually calms the wide pendulum swings of emotions. Looking at this phenomenon closely, I recognize that accepting, holding and managing our mood swings definitely falls under the spiritual “Grace” department.

Prayer: Gracious God, You know our heart, and You know our concerns. Be with us as we deal with emotions that frighten us, confuse or overwhelm us. Hold us as we fluctuate from sadness to joy, from anxiety to anger. Thank You that You accept us just the way we are, just the way we feel. Thank You for Your accepting Grace that holds and strengthens us as parents when we struggle to hold our children’s mood swings. Thank You that through Your Grace and through our parental grace, our children can learn to accept and love themselves, including their wide ranging emotions. Thank You that the experience of Your Grace provides calmness and peace. Peace that holds our hearts and that surpasses our understanding. Amen

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my concerns. Psalm 139:23 (MEV)