Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Imperfect Progress

I recently finished reading "Unglued -- Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions" by Lysa TerKerst. Fantastic book. 

The writer is hilarious. I love the colorful way she explains things and tells stories. For example, the way she explains what "coming unglued" means is with the expression, "when others bump into my happy." I love that.

She explains that when people bump into our happy, we either stuff, explode or react somewhere in between. People that bump into our happy can be our children, spouses, family members, friends or total strangers.

Most of us do both. For example, I tend to stuff when friends or strangers rub me the wrong way, but when my children are driving me crazy, I might explode. In fact, at the present moment, my kids are grating on my nerves by not leaving me alone while I am trying to write this, so I am stuffing my frustration in order to not explode at them! :)

Neither stuffing or exploding is the desired response, because both responses hurt ourselves and others. Stuffing builds up as baggage, and exploding hurts others while making you feel guilty about coming unglued.

So, the book teaches a few core concepts:

    How to resolve conflict in your important relationships
    How to be honest but kind when offended
    How to respond, when you are triggered, with no regrets by managing your tendencies to stuff, explode or react somewhere in between

The concept of "imperfect progress" comes in when she reminds us that once we start working on better handling our emotions -- whether we are trying not to stuff or not to explode -- we may still make mistakes. I love that. I feel like that is a hand of grace reaching down to us. 

I think sometimes we get overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to change, but this book invites us to at least try, and to accept that we will not be perfect. It's a process. What a relief!

Reading this book showed me that I am not alone in my imperfect progress to better handle my emotions. It also helped me realize I need to give myself grace when I mess up, and I need to extend grace to others when they mess up, too.

Great book for women! I'd highly recommend. We should do a book club on this one!

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