Many of us feel that when our emotions spill over, when we feel very awful (and even when we feel inordinately good), it is due to our interaction with someone, and therefore we believe that our emotions depend on the good or bad state of our relationship with each person. Obviously this is tantamount to saying that others control our emotions, and nothing could be further from the truth.
While it is true that as long as we do not make the choice to be in control of our own emotions, others can indeed evoke all kinds of emotions from us, it is also true that as soon as we begin to recognize that this is all a question of choice, we are then able to begin the process of pulling our emotions back under our own control.
Try it the next time someone has done or said something to you that makes you very angry or very sad ... tell yourself that there are alternatives to the reaction you are on the verge of having ... the very fact that you can have this thought brings you into awareness ... and once you are in awareness, or conscious rather than merely reacting, you begin to understand that you have choices. These choices are, for example, to ask yourself, if it is in your best benefit to react angrily or sadly. If you then realize that it is not, you begin to realize that the reaction (or non-reaction) that would be in your best benefit is another one. As you practice doing this, you pull your emotions into your own hands, rather than leaving them in the hands of others.
This does not mean, however, that your emotions should be coldly controlled. Quite the contrary. It does mean that however you react, you should be the one to decide, and that decision should be based on it being beneficial to your state of being.
See also these articles on my website:
- Are You Living the Life You Want to Live?
- Controlling Ourselves, Our Lives, and the People in Them
- Grow in Richness, Stop the Blaming
- Happiness: Has it Become a Science, or is it a Question of Luck?
- Making Choices: Taking Responsibility for our Lives
Image: Cape Verde