I get daily meditations via e-mail from the Henri Nouwen Society each day which I regularly find very thought-provoking. I think they have potential to inspire people of faith or none.
I was particularly struck by this morning’s one which says this:
Overcoming Our Mood Swings
Are we condemned to be passive victims of our moods? Must we simply say: “I feel great today” or “I feel awful today,” and require others to live with our moods?
Although it is very hard to control our moods, we can gradually overcome them by living a well-disciplined spiritual life. This can prevent us from acting out of our moods. We might not “feel” like getting up in the morning because we “feel” that life is not worth living, that nobody loves us, and that our work is boring. But if we get up anyhow, to spend some time reading the Gospels, praying the Psalms, and thanking God for a new day, our moods may lose their power over us.
It struck me that managing our moods is a real character-trait of a mature person and a sign perhaps of a potential leader. A leader may not feel like taking responsibility, or may not feel like leading at all, but instead of giving in to those moods they choose to overcome them. A leader may feel like moaning about someone, may feel like passing on privileged information they have been entrusted with, or feel like using their influence to exert inappropriate power over someone, but a mature person, particularly one who is seeking to exhibit characteristics modelled by Jesus, chooses to shun these temptations.
If you are increasingly managing to manage you moods you are maturing and could well be the kind of person others would like as a leader. No-one really finds it easy to like someone whose moods swing unpredictably all the time, so if you are increasingly less able to manage your moods, perhaps some time looking at a leader you admire and seeing how they cope with their moods might help. For me, exploring what moods Jesus must have encountered and how he dealt with them never ceases to humble me and inspire me.