Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's a Roller Coaster - You Getting On and Riding?

"The only test we should use to allow a particular emotion to run its course in our lives is to examine what the final outcome of that emotion will be. Think it through to its logical conclusion, and if the outcome is something that God would condemn, put a stop to it immediately But if it is an emotion that has been kindled by the Spirit of God and you don't allow it to have its way in your life, it will cause a reaction on a lower level than God intended." Oswald Chambers

Doubt Depression Frustration Despair

I've been getting these a lot lately. I'm pretty sure nothing good comes of those, so why do I let them take hold of me sometimes?

Lately, though, I've started feeling little bits of hope here and there, too. When I get a new request for my manuscript. When I get great praise for my writing. When I drop another query and 50 pages in the mailbox. When I hear a song that reminds me of what I felt last summer as I was bringing this book to a close.

And then I crush that feeling. I don't want to feel it, because feeling hope and excitement makes the fall so much harder.

A friend gave this quote to me today. It's made me really think about what I do with emotions, and why I let the bad ones simmer, and the good ones I kill off. Really, what use is that?

The depression and doubt lead to nothing good. Ever.

Hope will eventually lead to something good. Even if it takes a while.

I'm not quite there yet. But I'm working on it.


  1. I don't know how I manage to keep up hope. Other than positive comments from friends who've read it (thank you) I haven't gotten much to go on. Maybe it's foolish but I refuse to believe that it's going no-where. Maybe it's because I struggle with depression already, and this publication thing is just another rock to push so what's the difference...

    I can tell you, it's true: wallowing in defeat does nothing but make you feel worse. That quote is spot-on.

  2. I would do the same thing, Heidi, try *not* to get my hopes up (I was always afraid of jinxing it or looking like a fool if it didn't work out). It was so bad that, when the news finally came that I was getting published, I wasn't sure how to react. I was so used to squelching all of those "highs" that when there was a real one (a really good one) I couldn't even enjoy it right away.

    Let yourself enjoy those little victories, so that someday (hopefully sooner rather than later!), you can bask in that REALLY big one!!! :)

  3. Heidi - I loved the last part too - the fact that if we squash the good emotions, that hurts us as much as letting the bad ones run rampant. Maybe I try too hard to be in control all the time - no ups, no downs.

    Kimberly - you are so right! I remember the first time I got a request for a full. I thought I would float so high I'd get lost in space. The second and thirds were equally as exciting. Now, I get a request and feel nothing. It's like I am just postponing the inevitable.

    I think I am headed to where you were - not being sure if I should really celebrate when the big things come along. And how sad would that be?

  4. i so feel yah. If you stay positive but not attached to any outcomes - its the best of both worlds.

  5. My brother once told me that he always expects the worst then when something good happens he'll be pleasently surprised. Kind of a pessimistic view but it has served me well in the past.

    I liked Heidi the Hick: "defeat does nothing but make you feel worse."