I have come to the self-reflective conclusion that I tend to be extreme. The most recent situation that brought this reality into focus is my dependable inclination to get excited about things. When I am excited about something, I am REALLY excited about it. But then there comes the inevitable disappointment when things don’t turn out just as amazing as I had dreamt them up in my head. Which commonly leads to sadness.
Really, I like to think I am very positive. I have great hope for the future, experiences, relationships, and possibilities. But I still need to learn how to balance those positive (excited) vibes. My husband might characterize me as “moody” at times, which I’m not embarrassed to admit may be true. I can be temperamental, I confess. Blame my being a female, or hormones, or whatever you like. But I might be willing to guess that I have been this way since I was a little girl.
Temperament influences our interaction with the environment.
different interaction = different experiences
Oddly enough, I would not necessarily say that I am intense or dramatic; my extreme nature is mostly contained within. But I am very sentimental. Like probably if you looked up the word in the dictionary my name might be listed as a synonym. What some people fail to understand is that when one regards something worth sentiment, he or she believes that everyone should if not share in that sentiment, at least respect it.
Let me give you an [ahem, purely hypothetical] example of how this might play out when one is both extreme and sentimental:
1. “I am so excited about the arrival of autumn, I think I will throw a dinner party.” 2. Spends hours thoughtfully planning every detail for nice evening. 3. Excitement builds. 4. Guests cancel at the last minute. 5. Excitement plummets and is replaced with anguish. 6. “Why don’t they care about this? Don’t they know how much I was looking forward to it?”
Or how about this one:
1. “Christmas is just around the corner, only 91 more days!” 2. Spends countless hours decorating, shopping, wrapping, singing Christmas songs, etc. 3. Excitement builds. 4. “Christmas morning is finally here! Jesus! Family! Presents! Food!” 5. Day after Christmas. 5. Excitement plummets and is replaced with the heartbreaking reality that Christmas is now 364 days away. 6. “Life is so dull and boring.”
This extreme nature also flows into other, more important areas of my life, such as my religious and political beliefs. Luckily, my faith is one area that never disappoints. Probably because it is grounded on someone entirely infallible and perfect. And let me just say what a welcomed relief that is to my over-excited heart. Faith can be hard, and I may not always understand it, but it does not disappoint.
Politics on the other hand are much, much less soundproof. But my believing something is typically all-or-nothing. There are things I do not fully understand, and those things I am significantly less extreme on. But if I feel confident that I understand, I will believe it wholeheartedly. And with people, either I like you or I don’t. I am rarely indifferent.
“The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
So why am I telling you all this? Well I suppose it is because I have found that hearing about others’ self-reflections aids in spurring on some of my own. My hope is that you are mindful of those things that make you “tick,” those things that promote happiness, or sadness, in your character. And always, I hope that we can continue to realize the depth of our need for Jesus. Because honestly, nothing makes sense without Him.
Do you find yourself feeling extreme towards life and your environment? Do you feel this is a positive or negative attribute?
An excerpt from my devotional this morning:
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)
There are some things, especially in the depths of the religious life, which can only be understood by being experienced, and which even then are incapable of being adequately embodied in words… There are things that must be loved before we can know them to be worthy of our love. (Thomas Binney)