An emotion I struggle with is frustration. It is frustrating to be frustrated! I feel guilty, feeling that I should somehow rise about the emotion. There should be an emotional maturity that gives me the ability to see a broader perspective. There should be a discipline that I invoke to manage my feelings. Yet, frustration is a close, personal friend. I know it well. It often dominates my day.
I know others have and do struggle with it. I can see it in their writings, even those I consider wisdom fathers. In one, the emotion is dripping from the excerpt. “I was not involved with any of your baptisms—except for Crispus and Gaius—and on getting this report, I’m sure glad I wasn’t.” (1 Corinthians 1.15)
Yet, the knowledge that others were and are frustrated does not change the battle I face with the emotion. My meditation wisdom suggests I would do well to remember the following.
Emotions are, in and of themselves, neither right nor wrong. They simply reflect our heart. When I am frustrated, the words I use describe a feeling that exists within my being. I can feel the emotion playing out physically. My blood pressure rises. My face is often flush. When the emotion is especially intense, I break out into a cold sweat. Mentally, my mind goes into overdrive. I have a sense of racing within, struggling to understand and how to act.
The question with any emotion is what will I do in the moment I have.
Do I recognize that each moment comes with the freedom to choose? Have I embraced this opportunity? Am I willing to be intentional?
Even as I consider the options, there are two questions I want to keep with me. Am I willing to use my freedom to benefit others? Am I willing to act with positive intent?
In the early morning dawn it is hard to imagine being frustrated. This is my moment to fill myself with hope and courage. Opportunities will come today when I will be able to use both.