Every Monday, I’ll post about discovering genuine hope and authentic answers for living a healthy life.

Keeping Our Emotional and Intellectual Tanks Full

Over Christmas and New Year’s, did you expend a lot of emotional energy? I did.

I enjoyed lots of great times with great people: my brother, his wife, two nieces, Katie’s boyfriend, one nephew, friends over for dinner more than once, women at a party, golfing, and bowling at a birthday party. Sometimes, I was just with lots of people: large church services, concerts, airports, airplanes, crowded stores, …

Honestly, it was exhausting, even though it was wonderful. It took a lot of emotional and mental energy to stay focused at times and engage in conversations.

I’ve had to purposefully make sure to fill my emotional tank back up during these past two weeks. My tank was empty and I could feel it. I didn’t want others to know. I had to guard myself against being irritable, impatient, and less engaged when chatting.

Because I’m an introvert, meaning that I get energy when I’m alone, I’ve had to take more time for myself, slow down, be quiet, and turn down some social opportunities. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been right. If I wouldn’t have, my tank would still be empty and I’d be even more exhausted and hurtful to others.

Identity – who we are – should control our behavior. If it doesn’t, we won’t have self-security and integrity.  There will be other penalties, too. In this case, if I wouldn’t have understood my introverted nature and responded appropriately by spending more time alone, relationships – my belonging – would have paid the price.

When you begin behaving in ways that are not typical for you, check your emotional tank and your intellectual tank. Perhaps one is near empty and you need to schedule a fill up. It’s also possible that you forgot who you are and you’re not living with integrity. You can schedule a checkup.

Is now the time?