Ok, this is a big one, let’s talk about emotions.
So this took me a long time to get my head around (and is still in working progress) buuuuttt, people can’t *make* you feel an emotion.
People can’t MAKE you angry, please can’t MAKE you feel guilty.
We choose our emotions. And that’s so easy to say, and not so easy in real life.
But is it total crap?
To be honest when I first heard this, quite a few years ago now, I thought it was utter crap!
Of course other people actions and words cause me to feel things I have no control over.
If someone shouts at you, it certainly feels like they are making you feel sad or angry.
You have no choice but to react the way your brain has been conditioned right?
And in the first few seconds there is a gut reaction of emotion, but after that, it is possible to regain control of our thoughts and choose out own reaction.
Taking back control
To be able to do this, like learning any skill, takes time and practice.
We can learn to control our thoughts through meditation.
You know when you’re meditating, and your thoughts begin to wander, and you realise and you’re like:
“Oi, brain, I’m meditating”
When you stop your thoughts from wandering, you’re flexing that muscle that allows you to choose your thoughts and emotions.
This is not to excuse others behaviors, it’s certainly not ok for people to try and make us feel angry / guilty / sad etc.
Their actions are not our fault.
Our responsibility is to our own emotions, and that is a very empowering thing.
The difference between fault (implies blame) and responsibility (implies you are in control) is key!
And so you don’t need to rely on others actions for your happiness, we can’t control others actions, so if we do rely on them, we will always have a fear in the back of our minds.
Knowledge is power
The first step is knowing it is possible to choose our own emotional reactions, choose our own state.
The next step is to work a little towards this goal every day.
How about 10 minutes to try a mediation today, some quite time for you?
You could try a guided one on YouTube or a phone app.
And in meantime whilst we’re busy building ourselves up, if someone is mean to you, Ophelia the Octopus said she will eat their face off!