I’m sitting here wondering exactly why it’s wrong to throw green beans at someone. I mean, as adults we put a lot of restraints on ourselves. If someone makes me mad at supper, why not just heave a spoonful of beans and clock them between the eyes? Mashed potatoes might have a more lasting effect because of the splatter potential, but either way, the point will be made. I’m even willing to chunk a biscuit; or while I’m at it, heave a glass of tea in their lap.
Why don’t we act on these impulses? I know I’m not the only one who has them. Seriously, how freeing would it be to just throw yourself down on the floor, kicking and screaming because you didn’t get your way? I look at my little boy sometimes and think about how relaxed I would feel if I just had the freedom to get it all out like he does. He can yell and scream at those toys when they make him mad. He can throw himself on the floor and pout. For some reason, though, I just don’t think that would go over very well in a staff meeting or other professional gathering.
As we grow up we are expected to conform and learn how to control ourselves; but to what degree? I find myself working so hard to control myself that I don’t take the time to let out my true emotions. No, I probably don’t need to throw green beans at anyone (though I know I’d feel absolutely glorious afterwards!) and I don’t need to throw myself down on the floor in full-on tantrum style (again, this could be very satisfying), but I do need to take time to let my emotions come to the top and be recognized.
If I don’t acknowledge the fact that I’m angry, then it’s going to fester in a deep down place. As it festers, I’m steadily packing in other emotions on top. After a while, there’s no more room and I end up vomiting my emotions on someone or something that wasn’t the actual culprit to begin with. It’s kind of like eating fiber. If we keep a diet rich in fiber, we are more likely to keep things cleaned out, maintained and regular; but if we don’t, all the gunk just builds up and we get constipated. So many of us are walking around emotionally constipated and it’s just not fair to the rest of the world around us.
So I say, let’s throw a green bean every once in a while! I wouldn’t recommend it at the supper table, but heave it off of the porch at a pretend person. Go outside and get a hammer and beat a nail into a board until your arm is too tired to swing anymore. Grab a pillow and scream into it until you are out of breath. Cry until you have no tears left. But whatever you do, don’t pretend everything is alright when you are dying inside. Let’s be real. Let’s take time to experience our emotions. And then take them to Jesus for help sorting through them all.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28