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My H.E.A.R.T. Condition

November 1, 2017

In order to prevent a relapse back into my old ways and patterns, I must evaluate where my heart is. It’s so easy to ignore how I am feeling and have that old knee-jerk reaction to other’s words, looks, or actions.

 

I evaluate my heart motives by using a helpful acrostic borrowed from Celebrate Recovery:

 

H – Hurting

Is something else causing my heart to hurt and maybe I am deflecting that hurt onto others? Am I in physical pain that is causing my mood to be impacted negatively?

 

E – Exhausted

Am I so exhausted, I just want to be left alone and people are wearing on my nerves? Being tired can affect how I respond to others.

 

A – Angry

            Is there some unresolved anger in my heart? How can I work towards a resolution?

 

R – Resentful

Am I holding onto some resentment of that person? What can I do to release the resentment?

 

T – Tense

Do I currently have tension that could be contributing to my reactions to people? What can I do to release the tension I feel?

 

Biblically speaking, Romans 12:3-17 outlines this for me as well.

 

 

 

On the surface, these seem relatively simple, am I right? While I am “in the moment” of a conversation with someone else, however, it is really hard to stop and think through the condition of my heart, at least at first. The more I practice this, though the easier it becomes.

 

 

 

So, what’s the solution? I’m so glad you asked! Here are a few tips I have learned to change the condition of my heart.

 

H – Hurting

If another person is causing me pain, I should be cautious when speaking to other people. For example, if my husband has caused me pain in some way, then my mother has nothing to do with it. I should not speak to her negatively just because my heart is already hurting. A good response could be something like, “Mom, I know you really want to talk to me right now, but now is simply not a good time. Can we talk later?” Then I need to address with my husband how he has hurt me. (Please note, this does not apply to an abusive situation – if you are being abused, seek help. Find out more here.)

 

E – Exhausted

Being tired can cause me to be a bad mood. When I am in a bad mood, my reactions are not very good. If I am tired, I need to stop and rest. Practicing self-care is a very important part of my recovery. I should take time to get plenty of sleep, spend time in prayer and meditation, or relaxing. Here's a helpful article on the importance of rest.

 

A – Angry

Anger with one person can cause me to be in a bad mood, too. If I am angry with someone, the Bible tells me I shouldn’t “let the sun go down on my anger”. Stuffing my anger can have detrimental effects on my health  and also lead to me hurting others.

 

R – Resentful

Stuffing anger can lead to resentment. By facing my anger in the beginning instead of allowing it to fester, I am able to prevent resentment from building.

 

T – Tense

For me, releasing tension is taking a short walk or doing something creative. Studies have shown, just taking a 20 to 30-minute walk can improve self-esteem and prevent depression.

 

 

By facing my anger in the beginning instead of allowing it to fester, I am able to prevent resentment from building.

 

We go to the doctor for periodic check-ups, right? So why not have a spiritual check-up, too? Just like a doctor checks your heart when you go for a physical, I try to check the condition of my spiritual heart when it comes to my reactions.

 

Take me to the next post in the series.

 

Think About It:

 

  • Using the acrostic H.E.A.R.T, write out the condition of your heart. (I’ve included a printable to help you out!)

  • Take a few minutes and write out a plan to release tension. When you feel tension rising, what will you do?

  • For the next 5 days, practice taking the H.E.A.R.T. test. Use your free printable and journal your results. Go back and review for any patterns you see.

  • Download the November Reading Plan© (subscriber password required) and Read Romans 12:3-17

 

Journal About it:

 

Follow along in the My Journey Journal© (subscriber password required) and write about how the questions and scriptures today resonated with you. As you write, thank Him for showing you the way in your journey.

 

Pray About it:

 

As you think and write, say this prayer with me.

 

Heavenly Father,

Thank you showing me how to evaluate my heart motives. Lord, please guide me when I am hurting, exhausted, angry, resentful, and tense. Reveal to me how to make improvements to the condition of my heart.  

In Jesus' name,

Amen.

 

 

Talk About it:

 

I would love to hear from you! I enjoy connecting and keeping in touch. Do you feel as though you don’t have anyone you can share with confidentially? Your anonymity is protected. Do you feel you are the only one struggling with the after-effects of growing up with an alcoholic parent? YOU are not alone! It’s time to break free from the shackles of your controlling habits, trust issues, co-dependency, guilt, self-blame, hurts, regrets, and heartaches! Your NEW Normal starts NOW!

 

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations after 2017 are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers

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