Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Getting off the Emotional Roller Coaster ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Getting off the Emotional Roller Coaster ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

They've been together for as long as I've known them. Now he has decided the relationship is over, and she's in an emotional tailspin. The long, turbulent phone calls, the agonizing conversations over coffee, the hard choices as they negotiate their way through dismantling a life together - it's been heart-wrenching for those of us who care about them.

But as I watch this real-life drama unfold, I've been trying hard to draw a line between being a caring, supportive friend and going along for the ride on this emotional roller coaster that they're on. I know there must be a better way to resolve relationship issues.

I find myself thinking a lot about a statement from a book that has helped me get a better grip on my relations with others. The book is "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and the author, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote: "God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience" (page 106).

Just thinking about man (and woman) having an innate, God-given capacity to reason this way through any change or important decision makes me feel more grounded and less susceptible to the winds of passion and unrestrained emotion. Realizing that all of us possess the right of self-government reassures me that we are not helpless to resist the rush of feelings we don't understand, much less control. We can know what's right and do what's right for everyone involved because conscience - not resentment or anger, loneliness or longing - rules.

For my part, reflecting on these ideas has been a form of prayer that has helped me slow down the roller coaster of my own emotions and recognize that God must have a plan for this couple that's wise and caring.

In my prayers, I'm learning to trust that the voice of God (which I think must sound more like the voice of reason than the voice of passion) is a constant presence and that an all-knowing, all-loving God must have ways to make Himself heard over the rushing tide of feelings. …

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