The only person you can change or control is you. Do you feel better when you love or when you hate?

jim craig, control emotionsTwo of my favorite movies are The Man From Snowy River and Return To Snowy River. In one of the opening scenes of the sequel, the hero, Jim Craig returns and is greeted with insults.

An older gentleman standing nearby, knowing the history of the young Jim Craig, advises him, before Jim retaliates with his fists. Knowing how well Jim can manage on a horse, the gentleman assures the mountain man, Craig, that “there are better ways to prove your point.” Then we witness a most amazing display of Jim Craig’s gifts and talents on horseback. 

Nobody likes to be insulted or told what to do. When your kids are young, you can tell them to brush their teeth, but if you tell them to do that later in life, you’ll most likely get a strange stare or even a glare. How can we ensure that our important lessons and teachings will stay with them throughout their lives?

I believe we can ensure this by taking good care of ourselves and setting a good example. 

However, there’s someone I despise, and I’m not happy about it. If I think about how this person behaves, I feel frustrated. My mind gets twisted in knots. 

That person is me when I am unable to communicate clearly about how I feel. I hold my feelings in, not wanting to cause any drama. However, when I let negative THOUGHTS escalate my emotions, my anger and frustration can escape in an unproductive way.

I developed a successful strategy to change my behavior when this occurs and came up with an acronym to remember the steps: RISE stands for RESPOND, but first, INHALE, STAY WARM, and then EXHALE and say what you need to say.

What if my anger is caused by circumstances that are causing my child angst? How are they going to learn a valuable lesson if I attempt to lift the burden when they’re old enough to handle it themselves? It would be like reminding them to brush their teeth or even saying, sit back and let me take care of that for you. Our actions will speak louder than our words.

It’s taken me a while to write my last blog in the RISE acronym series; The E standing for Exhale and then say what you need to say. There’s so much to get angry about in the world right now. If my son or daughter were killed in Afghanistan, my anger would probably turn into fury. If, as a result of my despair, I did lose control of my emotions, I would hope to be understood and loved, instead of condemned. I would need grace. 

IF you’re coming from a place of love for you and for others, keep your emotions steady by believing in yourself. We can’t be afraid of a useful discussion, even if it turns into more of an argument. 

There are many times when I have not been very good at this, so a strategy comes in handy. I study how to manage my emotions, apply what I learn until I experience a positive change, and then try to help others change and respond well. I’m more determined than ever to learn, apply, and teach this strategy because our country is in turmoil. Even though we may not be like-minded politically, I think we all will agree that future generations will have an even bigger struggle, if we don’t find a better way to “prove our point.” It’s up to us to change and set an example that demonstrates that this world is worth defending.

We can’t give up on improving our thinking, EVER. I’m trying to stay accurately informed. No matter the news I hear, I have to be very careful where my thoughts lead me. I want my efforts to be productive, so I must picture a bright future that leads my actions in that direction.

Before we RESPOND, INHALE to interrupt our emotional reactivity, because where will tantrums get us? STAY WARM, because if a first responder comes across a victim that is cold to the touch, they're a lot harder to revive than if the victim feels warm.I propose this simple, yet powerful strategy, for us to RISE above this challenge of getting along.

Before we RESPOND, INHALE to interrupt our emotional reactivity, because where will tantrums get us? STAY WARM, because if a first responder comes across a victim that is cold to the touch, they’re a lot harder to revive than if the victim feels warm. Same for our relationships. Staying warm starts with taking care of yourself, by scanning the scene to make sure it’s safe for you and for others. Without ensuring your safety, others will have to put their lives in danger to save you, if you happen to go down. A rescuer has to think clearly. The more you practice in peaceful settings, the more prepared you’ll be when duty calls. Stay warm towards yourself and others. 

I admire the passion of some of our young leaders here in the US. If they would carry the RISE strategy with them, and repeatedly apply the steps, no matter the challenge and especially after they lose their temper, the tide could turn. 

I have a son in the Air Force and a daughter who wants to serve our country. I am passionate about making this country better, but also about making it safer for future generations. We need to see and start to build a bright future NOW.

beach, wavesThe waves will continue to break on the shore. Can we teach the next generation to respect, love, and appreciate the ocean of life, including the people who share our time of existence? Much easier said than done. We need to practice and have reminders. 

I heard behavior scientist Brene Brown say, “pain that is not transformed is transmitted.” We all leak pain, some more than others. It’s OK to feel that pain, it helps us to have empathy. I feel a lot of pain and I’m determined to transform my feelings for good until the day I die.

Our country is in pain, so let’s learn how to manage that pain, call them growing pains. Perhaps we can transform into a nation better than we can even imagine? Ultimately, we’re all fighting the same enemy. 

Stay warm, because if we let this country get cold it will be impossible to revive. The only person you can change or control is you. Do you feel better when you love or when you hate?

So, E stands for EXHALE with love and warmth for yourself and the sake of future generations. E also stands for ELEVATE. Can we get addicted to the good news instead of the bad news? We can try.  Magnify what’s going well, instead of what’s going wrong, and we’ll eventually see more going well. 

There’s no doubt we need some miracles…we must start looking for them, build our faith, and believe in each other. If you despise someone, perhaps God’s using them to grow you? 

The steps of CPR can also be applied to reviving a nation, as well as an individual if the steps are used in the same order. Enjoy my CPR Rap as an easy-to-remember guide, as well as the RISE EMBLEM here

Psalm 5:12 “For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous and; you surround them with your favor as a shield.”