Lisa Murray, M.A., LMFT
For most of my life I felt anything but abundant. I was exhausted trying to be everything for everybody. I was obsessed with winning other’s approval. I was terrified of rejection. I was demanding and critical of myself. I could never speak my thoughts and feelings and I did my very best to avoid any conflict that came my way. At the end of the day, I was scraping the bottom of the barrel. There was nothing abundant about that!
Just because I was raised in the church and was a passionate follower of Christ, that didn’t mean I was whole on the inside. The truth was, I was an emotional wreck.
For so many years, I sat in church and listened to amazing sermons by profoundly gifted pastors. Yet somewhere in the deepest shadows of me, what I could believe for so many others, I could not believe for myself. Other people could be whole, but that must not be for me. No amount of study, prayer, or faith ever seemed to glue together what was terribly broken inside.
If you’ve ever felt exhausted, empty, hopelessly scraping the bottom of the barrel, too, God has so much more in store for you! God longs for you to experience peace. “Peace” in Hebrew refers to wholeness, completeness, safety, soundness, and fullness. God wants us to be whole —physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NLT) states, Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.
Here is an excerpt from my new book, Peace For a Lifetime, that shares the importance of Emotional Abundance and how we can begin building a life of abundance and peace.
“Emotional Abundance, therefore, can be described as the over-sufficient supply, the overflowing fullness in the area of our instinctive, intuitive, feeling responses as we come in contact with our environment and our relationships. EA is the ability to feel our emotions, to reason through our emotions, to understand our emotions, and to effectively manage our emotions so we can appropriately respond to the people and circumstances around us. EA is the capacity to meet the demands of everyday life and create meaning in order to move forward in a positive direction. We can experience Emotional Abundance in our relationship with God, in our relationship with ourselves, and also in our relationships with others.
I like these definitions. EA means that I am not a helpless victim of my emotions; nor am I required to be cut-off from my emotions. I can experience abundance in my emotions!
Some studies have shown that EQ or Emotional Quotient has been determined to play a more powerful role in our success (as much as 80%), while IQ (Intellectual Quotient) has been shown to determine only about 20% of success. How we learn to deal with our emotions determines more about our overall success in life than the grades we got in school or the degree we earned from college. 1
In his book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman says, “People with well- developed emotional skills are also more likely to be content and effective in their lives, mastering the habits of the mind that foster their own productivity; people who cannot marshal some control over their emotional life fight battles that sabotage their ability for focused work and clear thought.”2
Emotional Abundance also has a direct impact on our physical health. Experts agree that over eighty percent of our health problems are stress-related. When we don’t know how to manage and reduce the stress in our lives, our physical health will suffer.
Our relationships are positively affected by Emotional Abundance as well. The more we are able to feel, understand, and manage our emotions, the better able we are to express them in a healthy way to the people around us. Whether at work or in our personal lives, our relationships will flourish as we are able to be with and listen to another person’s perspective in order to work through conflicts or disagreements.
In addition, Emotional Abundance can have a great impact on our spiritual lives. To be with, listen to, quiet ourselves with, and find meaning in our relationship with God will not only strengthen our spiritual lives, but will make our spiritual lives abound to overflowing.”
Don’t abounding and overflowing sound better than exhausted and empty? That kind of life is not out of reach. It’s not something just for others. That kind of abundance is not only powerful, it is possible!
I share simple, practical, life steps in my book, Peace For a Lifetime, that can help you understand the life God desires for you. This material can help you create and experience an indestructible peace – not just for today, not just for tomorrow, you can experience peace…for a lifetime!
1 John Chancellor, http://johnchancellor.hubpages.com/hub/Why-Emotional- Intelligence-is-More-Important-Than-IQ
2 Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence (New York: Bantam Books, 1995).
Lisa Murray is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Franklin, TN, with an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, as well as a graduate degree from Trevecca University. In 2007 Lisa founded the Counseling and Family Ministries at Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork, TN, where she not only works to help individuals, couples, and families, deal with the complexities and challenges of life and relationships, she also treats a full spectrum of mental health issues.
Having walked through her own struggles with anxiety, despair, and perfectionism, Lisa enjoys helping others as they explore and discover spiritual and emotional healing in their lives and relationships. You can read more of Lisa’s articles at www.lisamurrayonline.com You can also follow her on Facebook: Lisa Murray, or on Twitter: @_Lisa_Murray.