The Apex of a Four-Sided Emotional Pyramid

Welcome  This writing is coming to you in the wee hours of the morning, as in the 1 am hour!  I cannot sleep!  There are several reasons for this.  One would be the fact that I spent the day traveling in the car, so my feet and legs are swollen and they hurt.  Another factor for my lack of snooze is the fact that at this hour, it’s 81 degrees in our house.  My husband and I have an aversion to turning on the AC before June, especially considering the fact that we only shut off the heat about three weeks ago!  We are on our second week of an unusual heat wave for May and I’m quite uncomfortable.  Oh, what we will do to save a few bucks on our utility bills!  The third factor preventing me from some shut-eye is the article I read before bed.  I should know better than to get on my tablet before bedtime.  It was regarding changes in internet law regarding collection, processing, and storing of data, including blogs.  The legal jargon was overwhelming and confusing and presents me with a list of tasks I must take on sooner, rather than later.

So, as I was attempting to fall asleep in a different location, I became aware of several emotions all at once, and the feeling that I was standing on an apex where all these emotions meet.  When you stand at an apex, it is a very precarious point, and leaning in any given direction could send you toppling off the side or sliding fully into one side of the pyramid.  I’m going to share my four emotions this morning, which way I want to lean, and the foundation I use for the basis of all my emotional pyramids.  Thank you for stopping by today, and stick around for a fun and yummy truffle recipe!

Food For Thought   During any emotional struggle, you may be feeling a variety of feelings, not just one or two clear cut emotions.  That’s how I’m feeling right now, and as I was laying there contemplating these feelings, I had the vision of this pyramid.  Each of the four sides represent an emotion, and the entire pyramid sits on a base, or foundation.  Remember, emotions themselves are not necessarily negative or positive, they are just feelings.  Our actions and reactions can be negative or positive, based on our choices.

The emotions that make up the four sides of my pyramid at this moment are frustration, disappointment, resignation, and faith.  I’ll talk more about the foundation in a moment.  At any given moment or event, these emotions may be similar or different, stronger or weaker.  Surprisingly, I can process through my emotions a little better with this visual to guide me.  Maybe it can help you, too.

First, I’m frustrated.  I am frustrated that I have problems with my legs and feet, making me uncomfortable, even more so recently.  I am frustrated that it’s gotten hot so quickly.  We didn’t even really have spring this year!  We had three weekends in a row during April when we had snow, followed by a couple of weeks with sunny and 70’s, then immediately jumped into 80’s and 90’s.  And of course I’m frustrated with the changing laws and regulations for internet businesses and publications.  I’m not frustrated because I don’t think it’s necessary, but because I’m so “small potatoes” I feel like I have to do more work to comply than bigger blogs and companies who have staff specific to handle legal matters.  It’s also frustrating because I try so hard to abide by all the laws, but legal stuff is not my forte’, and I get a little panicky when I think about all the things that can go wrong and frustrated when I don’t understand exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.  And I’ll be honest, updating legal policies on my blog is not exactly the type of writing I enjoy doing.  But it is what it is, as we often say.

Then, as I lay there, I started feeling disappointment.  Disappointed in my own personal mother’s day experience this weekend.  Disappointed at the thought of no summer vacation.  Disappointed that my blog hasn’t grown more in a year.  Disappointed that my book is not progressing very well.  Disappointed in my life in general, as I still feel like I’m floundering around, trying to find my place after leaving the field of education.  These are the things you think about while lying in bed for hours, sweating!

After feeling frustration and disappointment, the next step is often resignation.  One of the definitions of resignation is “to give up.”  An overwhelming sense of anxiety was beginning to develop deep inside me in the wee hours this morning and I will loudly admit I wanted to give up.  My thoughts wrapped around ideas like “This is too hard” and “What good am I doing anyway?”  This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way or had those same thoughts.  And it won’t be the last.  I can’t imagine anyone, anywhere, not going through these thoughts from time to time.  I love when my favorite authors and bloggers admit their true feelings, not because I wish them discomfort or trial, but because it is so reassuring that I’m not the only one that goes through these emotions.  And they come out on the positive side, by not giving up.

This brings me to the fourth side of my emotional pyramid.  I described this feeling as faith, although I realize it’s not really a feeling, but more something I possess.  Sometimes, for me at least, faith is a feeling.  I feel my faith in God deep inside me, where all those other emotions bubble and churn.  That feeling of faith is what leads me, and most of you, too, to press on to the goal, to not grow weary and lose heart, but to persevere.  That fourth feeling of faith is what keeps me from falling off the apex into resignation because of overwhelming frustration and disappointment.  My feeling of faith reminded me in the stuffy, early-morning hours that God is taking care of me.  God’s guiding me and leading me, even with what may seem trivial to some, like cookies and privacy policies.  I have declared since the launch of this blog last year that  I feel it is a God-given assignment.  It’s hard some days, when I wonder if this can possibly be right, when it doesn’t make sense to anyone but Him.  But there’s always that quiet whisper or bold print devotional letting me know God is taking care of me and my situation.  This is all because of the firm foundation my emotional pyramid sits on…belief and trust in God and Jesus Christ.

I’m going to be honest here.  I have not always allowed my emotional pyramid to sit on this firm foundation.  I’ve gone through seasons when my foundation was set on selfish desires or pleasing the “right” people.  Every emotion in my life was stacked on the goal to get what I wanted or to do what I thought other people wanted me to do.  Those would also be the years when my depression and anxiety was at their worst.  Those were the years I stopped going to church and reading my Bible.  Those would be the years I learned some very hard and humbling lessons.  Now I try to keep God as my firm foundation, having a wall of faith to support me, even when I’m feeling some ugly or stressful emotions.

The next time you experience a tidal wave of various emotions, try to visualize them as sides to a pyramid.  Do you have faith, hope, or optimism to balance the more tumultuous feelings?  Does God form the foundation so that your emotional responses and actions align with His will?  Identify and accept your emotions and then begin to make informed decisions.  For me, it prevents rash decisions and snappy judgements that I may regret later.  It may help you, as well.

Today’s Scripture  You may remember the song about the wise man and the foolish man from your Sunday school or VBS days.  Let’s read the Bible passage that song is based on, as an additional illustration for the idea that God should be our firm foundation and our rock.  Scripture brought to you from Bible Gateway.

Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Today’s Recipe  I painted a wood sign form my mom for mother’s day this year.  Additionally, I took her a tray of Devil’s Food Cake Truffles.  This truffle recipe is similar to cake balls, both in creation and presentation, but the inside is softer and more dense like a truffle.  As with cake balls, you can vary the cake mix and frosting flavors to your liking.  These really are quite versatile because you can also customize the candy coating and decoration based on your event.  I used dark chocolate and pale yellow for my mom’s truffles, but you can adjust to pastels for baby or bridal showers or use school colors for a graduation party.  The combinations are almost endless, especially since there are now wafer candy melts available in a wide variety of colors and flavors.

Devil's Food Cake Truffles
A fudgy filling wrapped in a dark chocolate or vanilla candy coating makes an easy truffle for entertaining or gift-giving.

 

Devil’s Food Cake Truffles (makes about 48 truffles)

  • 1 Devil’s Food cake mix
  • eggs, oil, and water to prepare cake mix
  • 1 container chocolate fudge frosting
  • 10-oz pkg chocolate candy melt wafers (I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate candy melts)
  • 12-oz pkg vanilla-flavored candy melt wafers (I used Make and Mold candy melts in pale yellow, available at craft and baking stores)
  • coarse sugar (I used yellow sugar from Betty Crocker)

Bake cake according to package directions.  Allow cake to cool completely, about 2 hours.  Crumble cake in large bowl and add container of fudge frosting, stirring to combine thoroughly.  Refrigerate this mix for 1-2 hours.  Line a baking sheet with wax paper.  Take cake mixture from refrigerator and begin to roll small balls of cake filling, about a teaspoon worth per truffle.  Place on wax paper and refrigerate 3-4 hours, or overnight, before dipping.

When cake filling is completely chilled, melt candy wafers according to package directions, in separate bowls.  For dipping, you can use a manufactured dipping tool, but the absolute best tool I have for dipping in chocolate or candy coating is two plastic forks with the middle prongs broken and removed.  Seriously, these are my go-to dipping tools for all occasions.  Begin to dip some of the cake balls in the chocolate coating and some in the vanilla coating.  If using sugar as decoration, wait 15 to 30 seconds after dipping, then sprinkle the sugar on the tops of the truffles.  This allows the candy melt to cool slightly without fully setting and provides optimum “stickiness” for the sugar to adhere and not melt.  If using alternating colors for drizzle, use a spoon to scoop a small amount, then holding the spoon 6-8 inches above the truffles, shake the spoon back and forth allowing the candy melt to make a lined pattern across the tops of the truffles.

Refrigerate truffles to set candy coating and decoration.  Refrigerate until ready to serve, and any leftovers, as humidity causes condensation to build up on the candy coating and it will begin to crumble