The Lord has helped me become more even-tempered lately, with these verses coming to mind quite often:
[a]What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? [b]Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask [c]with wrong motives, so that you may spend it [d]on your pleasures. James 4:1-3
Keeping that truth in mind helps me not get to the point where others’ words or actions bother me to the point of that I plunge into the quicksand of my emotions.
That’s how it’s been going lately.
That is not at all how it went today.
When I woke up, I looked at my email on my phone. (I should have had prayer time before checking my phone, but that’s not what happened.) The first email I saw was an unnecessarily condescending work email. An innocent bystander would not view the words in the email as condescending. The innocent bystander is also not aware of the subtext.
After reading the email, my heart immediately started beating quickly. I was mad. For the rest of the morning, I did not stop thinking about that email. Instead, I chose to stew on it and nurture my anger at the person who sent it.
At work, the same person had a conversation with me – about a different topic – that was much more condescending than the email from this morning. The tone of voice was actually on the pleasant side, but again, subtext ruled. There was nothing I could do, except meekly acknowledge that I was in the wrong. (I wasn’t, but it’s often best to just go with it.)
Just writing about today’s happenings brought on a much-needed cry. It was more of a half-cry, because I got distracted.
This evening, the bulk of my mental space was used on crying out to the Lord that I hate this person. Again, probably not the best thing to do; but I figure it’s better than saying it to the person or talking behind their back. The rest of my mental space was used on crying out to the Lord to help me not to hate the person.
19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. Romans 7:19
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from [r]the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25
This is what makes being an HSP so frustrating to me. There is absolutely no reason why I should still be upset about the email or the conversation. These incidents are just par for the course, and are not a true reflection on me as a worker or as a human being, in general. Yet, they still cut so deeply when they do happen. It is a longstanding battle for me not to sin in my anger or self-pity at the toxicity of this situation.
PS: I have changed the settings, so that work emails don’t come through on my phone anymore.