Stew and potatoes

It’s February and based on good ole Mr. Groundhog it appears there’s going to be a few more weeks of Winter. Better get on the bandwagon for at least one more scrumptious pot of beef stew. Actually this post isn’t so much about beef stew rather my observations about stewing on ones thoughts instead of reacting out of emotion.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

There are few instances more difficult to sort through than when a mama bear considers her cubs have been mistreated by an authority figure. Another hard one is when we’ve experienced a disappointment in our marriage. We’ve had our share of both stewing and full blown knee jerk reactions in 11 years of parenting and 14 years of marriage. No matter whom our disappointment is with, the enhanced emotions in a knee jerk reaction make focusing on the solution difficult.

I’d like to say I’ve learned a lesson or two along the way. Though if I’m fully honest, I really don’t know another way to be, I’ve learned the most through my own personal mistakes. I’ve learned I’m a passionate gal and stewing should be my go to reaction. Unless someone is being physically hurt or there are deep emotional wounds at stake it’s probably best to take a breather. One day when one of our kids was in preschool I found the teacher wasn’t sending home artwork like I envisioned, not in quality or quantity. Looking back, it was a perfect opportunity to stew. Instead I confronted her at pick up time when all the other parents were in line to grab their kids. I was foolish and immature to think this was appropriate. It’s an example of unnecessary relationship woes that result because of overreacting.

When in doubt stew, don’t blurt.

When emotions are high and angry words come into view it’s best FOR ME to take a walk alone and spew the filth out loud into the open air. Filling a home with pent up emotion does little to create a home life that deep down we all desire. There is more clarity and definitely more problem solving after the necessary time is taken to process our disappointment.

Purposefully heading out on a walk to sort through things also disposes the false idea that putting emotions under the rug actually solves a situation. The walk doesn’t negate a conversation at a later date. It just delays it. I’ve watched the self implosion in my own life and observed in others that this ‘sweeping’ does very little to actually clean up ones life. I’m a firm believer that sweeping is far more harmful than the pain in sorting through ones frustrations or circumstances. The lie that I can put my damaged emotions in what I intend to be a locked up chest in my mind always ends in a larger explosion down the line. Maybe it’s just me…but swiffering, sweeping and pushing things under the rug is a false hope for internal peace.

So, what’s for dinner? Stew?

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