Feelings are generated by thoughts. Feelings drive our actions, and actions dictate the results in our lives.
How many times have you done something to feel a certain way? Or avoided doing something so you didn’t have to feel a certain way?
It can feel like we’re not in control of our feelings.
We think that other people can cause our feelings (good, bad or ugly).
Let’s stop one second and think about it.
If the world itself is neutral – every fact or circumstance in the world is neutral.
What causes us to feel a certain way about it? Is love amazing? Is war terrible. Most of us would agree that certain things in life can be labeled as “good” or “bad”… but is that really true? Or is a thing/event/object just a circumstance. My mentor proposes that it is. Our feelings come from our thoughts.
This is going to weird some people out. I may lose you, that’s okay – first, just think about it for a minute. Four different family members can all experience the same event (say, Thanksgiving dinner) and each one can have different thoughts, feelings and memories from that event. If that Thanksgiving dinner isn’t neutral – then every family member would have the same thoughts and feelings, right?
But they don’t.
We all experience events in life through the lens of our past experiences, expectations and beliefs. Each of our brains is individual and magnificent. And different.
So… we are in control of our own feelings. This is great news because it means we can feel however we want to, whenever we want!
There are also ideas in the world that we should always be happy or positive. That’s not what I believe.
What if we’re not meant to?
What if half of our life was positive and the other half was negative (or not positive)?
Even if someone says something to you – it doesn’t mean anything until you make it mean something to you. We can all likely agree that we want to feel angry, sad, horrified, heartbroken by certain events in our lives.
The contrast of feelings is what makes our lives human.
The ability to think and choose our feelings and interpretation of the world is also inherently human.
What feelings are you choosing to create with your thoughts this holiday season?
Be curious, watch your thoughts and check in when you discover a feeling that you weren’t expecting. I bet you learn something new!
Let’s stay in touch.