Think about all the emotions you feel when visiting the Circus. The first act is with the monkeys and clowns. We giggle at the cheekiness of their tricks.
Then the harrowing acrobats flipping through the air. Leaving us breathless and in awe of their death defying performance.
You’ve never seen all the young girls in the audience so quiet when the Princess comes riding out on her Pony. Wondering if your child has forgotten to blink, she’s so enthralled.
As that act finishes the Cowboys and Indians come out for the boys. Now it’s their turn to be captivated. The bad guys start to take over and the audience is in an uproar.
Each act delivered to stir all your emotions. While we’re spell bound by the performances we don’t feel a sense of loss when one act comes to an end. We watch, observe and enjoy it for what it is. A passing moment.
That’s how we should experience our feelings. Every emotion makes itself known to us. It has the potential to shift our mood. When all we had to do was acknowledge it without reacting. Aware it will move on.
What separates us is how we view a situation. What combines us is our emotions.
Rage: An anger so intense every muscle is tight. Our thought processors become unbalanced. Imagination can go into over drive with thoughts of revenge. You may want to lash out. Thinking about all those one liners you could say to inflict pain on the person who has hurt you. Generally a loved one.
Despair: The whole body filled with anguish. It feels terribly uncomfortable. An example is having to move a parent to a nursing home as they require constant care. Keeping them safe and healthy is a priority. This change in circumstances is a heavy burden to carry.
Happy: Life is a joy. This sensation is so wonderful you never want it to leave. It lifts us up. We see everything in a positive light.
None of us is free from feeling. Yet we know which emotions we prefer. We tend to lap up the positives and do all we can to avoid the negatives. We’re not good at feeling bad.
Emotions aren’t the problem.
There is nothing wrong with any of the feelings that rise within us. They’re natural. Acting out due to these emotions is when trouble begins.
How many times have you heard, ‘never say anything in anger that you will regret later’. This informs us that our moods are constantly on the move.
A mother buys her daughter a present for winning the swimming tournament. The child is thrilled at coming first. Receiving the phone she had raved on about for several weeks is a big bonus. She’s on an emotional high. Basking in her glory.
The young person jumps on the internet to share her win. The first thing she come across is a nasty letter from her friend. She’s being blasted for hanging out with her best friends boyfriend. Her mood immediately drops to an all time low and tears have replaced that big smile.
An alternative way to go about emotions.
Enjoy the win and the phone. Understand her friend would be upset. She could attend to this matter at the first opportunity. Realising she was impacted by her friends outburst. Feeling horrible, observing the emotions rather than reacting to them.
It’s not that easy when we’re hurt.
Every single one of us acknowledge that emotions never remain the same. No matter what the feeling, it isn’t permanent.
The above scenario. The young woman was happy. Who would need to fix that? The high was as unstable as the low. It could be taken from her.
You wake up in the morning feeling grumpy and a little tired. You partner greats you with a smile. In that immediate second you have so many options in how you respond.
- You can share how you feel.
- You can acknowledge your mood, smile back at your partner.
- Snuggle up, not wanting to get out of bed.
- You can wipe that smile off their face by sharing your grumpy.
- You can point at them and say they’re the reason why you woke up grumpy and tired making a joke of it.
The mood isn’t pleasant. Yet you decide on what you want to make of it.
Prepare for the reaction not the moods.
We don’t need to prepare for our moods. Unless we behave in a manner that makes us feel horrible after we have acted.
For instance, a temper that send us into to fits of rage require our immediate attention. We know this feeling will return at some point. The behaviour attached to this emotion creates chaos.
We can be ready for this attitude. Have a strategy in place. Our motivation is to manage our behaviour much better next time round. This makes life easier for ourselves, not harder. We go to this effort because we’re worth it.
You don’t have any say in how you feel. That comes naturally. You do have the power to control how you react.You don’t have any say in how you feel. That comes naturally. You do have the power to control how you react.… Click To Tweet
We are dangerous when we are not conscious of our responsibility for how we behave, think, and feel. – Marshall B. Rosenberg
How can I observe emotions when I feel?
Look upon your emotions with empathy. It’s a practice that requires focus and discipline. This will not come easy initially. Yet you already have the skill set within you.
Your best friend has just split with her partner of thirteen years. Devastated by the discovery of a cheating spouse.
You arrive at her house as soon as you can. You give her the biggest bear hug. Understanding the anguish she is going through. Sharing tears and anger. You will feel it with her, but won’t react. You understand she has a lot to process and it will take a while for her to get over this.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. -Kahlil Gibran
Could you image being able to feel the intensity of your emotions yet manage them the way you did with your friend. This is achievable after the death of someone close or your own personal crisis.
Emotions are passing through. Learning to observe them, does not take away the impact. It won’t mean you loved a person any less. There’s no escaping these feelings. You just don’t use them against yourself.
Don’t hold happiness hostage. As you lose its grasp you feel empty. Let it go, it will come back. Holding on is what creates misery.Don’t hold happiness hostage. Holding on is what creates misery. Click To Tweet
You manage excitement as you would anger or sadness. As they arrive you acknowledge the mood and observe it. You don’t react to positive or negative emotions.
Instead of resisting any emotion, the best way to dispel it is to enter it fully, embrace it and see through your resistance. – Deepak Chopra
Living in the moment. Accepting the emotion you are feeling right now.
It’s when we don’t that we’re affected. If you don’t embrace bad moods you will respond to them. Find them difficult to manage.
This is not an easy way out. It’s a tough lesson to learn. We’re with ourselves 24 hours a day. In that time we move from one feeling to another.
The struggle is not with the experience, it’s with the emotion. We don’t get entangled in anger. We don’t get caught up in happiness. Always think of yourself as if at the circus. You feel, you experience, you observe and you let the show go on.
We don’t even realise we have managed a situation when it’s of little importance to us. We go about the motions with ease.
That’s not the case when things make you crazy. In the intensity of the moment you have to decide what you will do with those emotions.