Melvyn Tan
October 11, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

Strategies for Mastering Your Emotions

[blockquote source=”Jeremiah 18:3-4 (NIV)“]So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.[/blockquote] There was an old Chinese folk story that […]

[blockquote source=”Jeremiah 18:3-4 (NIV)“]So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.[/blockquote]

There was an old Chinese folk story that goes like this:

There was this farmer who chance upon a beautiful horse one day and brought the horse home.  When his neighbours saw the horse, every one was in awe of this beautiful stallion.  Many exclaimed that it was the farmer’s good fortune that he found such a beautiful horse.  Some were even envious.  The farmer simply said, “well, let’s see.”

One day, the farmer’s eldest son was riding on this horse and for some reason it was startled and was beyond control.  The son who was riding the horse fell and broke both legs as a result of it.  The fall was so bad that everyone thought the boy would be crippled.  When his neighbours heard about it, those very ones that once said it was the farmer’s good fortune to find the horse now said that it was the farmer’s bad fortune to keep the horse.  The farmer simply said, “well, let’s see.”

Then, war broke out and the emperor issued an edict to have every able-bodied male of a certain age group join the army.  When the soldiers came to the farmer’s house, they found that the son, while of the right age, was crippled and hence did not enrol him.  Instead, all the neighbours’ sons were taken away to join the army.  The war was a terrible one and many of the conscripts did not make it back alive.

At this point in time, the farmer looked at the horse and simply smile.

Have you ever had a period in your life where you went through an enormous amount of pains and struggles?  You probably even felt betrayed, wronged, victimised.

Sometimes in life, we may experience moments where at that point in time was simply hurtful and it could even look impossible to pull through.

However, thinking back, you’d probably not trade that experience.

Just like in today’s verses, God has great plans for You and even though it might seemed like your current situation is in ruins, He can re-shape your life.

Tony Robbins has a six-step process to mastering emotions, which I have adapted it and I’d like to share it with you here:

  • Identify the emotion and appreciate the message: acknowledge the emotion as it is a signal that there is something that has to change.
  • Clarify: dig deeper into the emotion by asking what is the message that this emotion is offering.  Sometimes, you’d need to change your perception or your context in order to see the bigger picture.
  • Ask questions: this is where you’d really want to be specific about: what exactly do I want to feel?
  • Get confident: sometimes the emotion can be really overwhelming.  However, recall a time in the past when you were able to deal with the emotion so that you can be assured that you can deal with it now.
  • Get creative: what are different ways that you can do to experience more of the emotion that you want?  However, make sure that these ways are constructive rather than destructive.
  • Take action: do something right away to enable you to handle the disempowering emotion and at the same time give you that empowering emotion that you want.  Immediately afterwards, record it in a journal.

Father I thank You for being the potter who is able to shape me into something of value even when I am in ruins.  Father please forgive me for my sins and as I repent and turn to You, may Your glory work in me for the betterment of not just myself but for everyone whom I come into contact with.  In Jesus name, Amen.