What are your warning signs?

Flower and sky photo by cmrowell (flickr creative commons) The map flashes red on the television screen. “Take shelter immediately,” the weatherman says, “There is a severe storm in your area.”

It’s spring in the South and pronouncements like this are quite common. So frequent, in fact, that {confession} sometimes I ignore them.

I can act the same way when it comes to my emotions. A hard day or a difficult circumstance makes my heart flash with the potential for a coming storm. But often I just keep going–and that’s when I find myself in the middle of my own personal tornado.

I’m slowly learning there a few questions I can ask myself to see if it’s time to take shelter for awhile.

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Am I sad about something? Grief comes in many different forms. We can feel sadness over the loss of a job, loved one, dream, or even the plans we had for the day that aren’t going to happen.

This emotion is normal–it’s when we bury it and “fake it until we make it” that a cyclone of emotion may build and catch us by surprise. We can acknowledge our emotions with words like, “I’m disappointed” or “God, I feel hurt–please help.”

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Am I trying too hard? Oh, friends, I can be a perfectionist and a half. When I find myself in that mode it always leads to a storm of some sort–and often the people in my life get rained on too. 

When we find ourselves doing this, we can trace it back to the unrealistic expectation that’s putting us under pressure and replace it with one that has more grace instead.   

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Am I overwhelmed by life? All of us have a limit to what we can handle mentally, physically, and emotionally. When we push past that point, chaos often erupts. 

We can take shelter by finding some time to restore order to our lives–whether that’s through a few minutes of quiet or reworking our schedule. Even Jesus took breaks at times and He was perfect–we need them too.

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Am I personally isolated? While we sometimes need to withdraw, that’s not the way we’re intended to live all the time. We’re more vulnerable when we’re alone. It seems tornados often form quickly on wide open plains. The same can happen with our hearts minds. 

We can surround ourselves with people who will encourage and support us. Hint: the best way to find those people is to be one.

When it comes to weather, storms are unavoidable. But when it comes to our lives, we can often stop them before they become destructive. Whew. That’s good news. 

{And for those of you who are now worried about me–I promise to go to the closet with my hubby and the dog next time the weatherman tells me to do so. I’ll bring cookies with me too. Want to come?} 

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,

Holley

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