Today I am being asked to describe for you… the last time I was surprised by the intensity of a feeling I had or by how strongly I reacted to something I thought wouldn’t be a big deal.
I’m having a hard time with this one — You see, my emotions tend to run pretty close to the edge of intense on the best of days. I’ve been described as ‘intense’ by several people, and it hasn’t been a surprise any time it’s happened. I experience pretty much everything while being surprised at how intensely I felt or how strongly I reacted.
This explains why when I’m really happy, I’m REALLY happy! Caffeine and sugar merely intensify my intensity at that point. It also explains why when I’m sad, I tend to hold onto that feeling really tightly as well. If you’ve never experienced the intensity of my excitement as Christmas gets closer and closer…. picture a 4 year old holding up hands and yelling “THIS MANY SLEEPS!!!” I still love my birthday with the same enthusiasm, even though 30 looms closer and closer…. and CLOSER… with each step (I’ll be 29 in a month).
As I’m writing this post though, and it’s starting to come together in my head (that’s right, I started writing without a clue where I was going), I realize that I think the emotion I tend to experience the most intensely, and it almost always surprises me…… is disappointment.
It would appear that I have some unbelievably high expectations for most things that occur in my life. Dates (seriously… I had high expectations for this guy… and they were not warranted), important conversations, lesson plans… you name it. I set the bar high, and when expectations don’t meet reality, I experience heavy disappointment…. often in myself, but also in others. And as I’m thinking this through, it occurs to me how potentially damaging that can be to my relationships and to my own sanity. When I expect this much of myself and those around me, I’m setting all of us up to fail…. because we all know first-hand that not everything in life is going to go exactly as we expect. Even if everything goes smoothly in a given situation, disappointment can still hit when it just wasn’t “enough.”
I wonder if I do the same thing to God… I get my expectations all set, ask for God to step into something, and wind up miserably disappointed when it doesn’t work out the way I expect or want. I think expectations not meeting reality, and the consistently intense feeling of disappointment I tend to experience when it happens… I think they probably say something about my trust in God’s timing and His plan.
Anyone else out there feel like this? You’re a pretty intense individual and your emotions are always running crazily high… and it results in crazy disappointment that you’re not great at handling? What do you do?
P.S. – Please check back tomorrow when I post for my 2 year blog-iversary (and write without a prompt!) about some Red Flags from my last couple of misadventures in online dating 😉