How does this play into practical life experiences? Barbara and I sometimes sit down and make a list of feelings that frequently pop up but are not in alignment with what the Spirit has brought to us (love, joy, peace, patience, etc.)
For instance, one time I was sitting in a brace after shoulder surgery, eating this comfort food meal of meatloaf and mashed potatoes that my sweetheart had made for dinner. I bit down on a piece of bone and cracked a tooth! I had this horrible toothache plus all the pain of the shoulder, I continued adding to the the list of negative emotions. When I got down to self-pity, I just cracked up. There I was, deep into self-pity, realizing I could move over to love, peace, and joy by simply getting away from “it’s all about me” and realizing this is all part of God’s plan.
It’s not totally destructive to have a little bit of pain, I just chose to focus on the good parts of my life and it instantaneously moved me from a grumpy old curmudgeon to a joyful expectancy. It wouldn’t be long and both of these would be over, and life would be better.