Thoughts, Words, and FEELINGS

Emotions for me are a necessary evil. I absolutely hate the way emotions can completely blind a mind from logic. This is one of the main reasons that it takes me a long, long time to become emotionally attached to anybody. It seems that whenever I become attached to anybody, as soon as it’s over I look back and can’t believe how many things I overlooked because of my blinding emotions.

Relationships are very important for me, and I know that without feelings and emotions strong and lasting relationships would not be possible. So how does one allow themself to have these feelings and still remain in control of life?

Every thought I have and every word I speak creates some sort of feeling inside of me. This means that I am one hundred percent in control of my emotional well-being. I, like everyone else, have difficult things to fight through in life. Also like everyone else, there are hundreds of amazingly wonderful things that I get to be a part of every day. The difficulties can create negative feelings while the good is obviously prone to create positive feelings. My brain will be occupied by one or the other, and I get to make the decision as to which one my thoughts are planted on.

Based on that decision, the corresponding thoughts and feelings come. My feelings and mood are controlled by a decision I make either to wrap my thoughts around the good, or around the bad. It is not controlled by who I talk to, what happened at work, what classes I attended, or anything else. Essentially, it is not controlled by what “happens” to me. The role that these “happenings” play in my emotional well-being is the way that the world has trained me to REACT to them. Though the world may expect me to react a certain way, the thoughts I have and the words I speak are based entirely on the conscious choices I make, not the situations I encounter each day. In fact, these conscious choices even have the power to improve future “happenings.” For example: If I arrive at work and someone says something offensive to me or about me, I might take offense. I choose to let their words change my mood and I become sad, angry, frustrated, etc. But what if I take their words and think, “I really must have done something to upset so-and-so. I’m going to apologize and see what I can do to clear this up.” I might talk to that person and find out that their dog just died, and I had made a passing dog joke the day before. Now I understand where the feelings behind their words came from and the feelings of resentment and anger disappear...for both of us! Our relationship is actually strengthened!

But this is not easy. When I find myself in such situations, it is often difficult to take that perspective. There are times when I assume malicious intent, feel sorry for myself, and visualize an argument with this person in my head in which I completely obliterate them. (It’s not too hard to win when they don’t have a chance to defend themselves!) On these occasions, I have once again blinded myself with stupid emotions. One success I’ve had in fixing this problem is reversing the conversation I have with myself in my head. Instead of visualizing an argument with them, I visualize myself defending them. For example, if someone cuts me off in traffic, I could say, “His wife is probably in labor and he is about to miss the birth of his baby.” Whether or not this is true, it helps me see things from a perspective other than my own and helps me to avoid placing judgment. It also helps me understand what others are feeling and makes it a whole lot easier to have a positive experience in resolving any issue.

Again, the way I feel is a direct result of the thoughts running through my head and the words coming out of my mouth. This concept is simple to understand, yet extremely difficult to master. Any person who has mastered this concept is in a good place. To arrive at this good place, one must replace reacting with acting. As I previously mentioned, the world trains us to react in a certain way. Unfortunately, this natural trained reaction is usually negative. To stop this natural reaction I need to hit the pause button not only when conflicts arise, but throughout each day. I might ask myself, “Are my thoughts making me feel good right now? If not, are they helping me accomplish anything?” If I stop and analyze my thoughts and the situation, it becomes much easier to ACT POSITIVELY instead of REACT NEGATIVELY. I believe that once a person gets to the point of mastering this, the positive action becomes a positive RE-action. In other words, the positive response becomes the natural, automatic response. When I think about the consequences and then act positively, I am much more likely to create feelings of trust between myself and the person I am communicating with.

I recently had a conversation with my 16 year old sister. She was teasing me saying that instead of thinking about my thoughts, I think about the thoughts I have about my thoughts. She’s right. I do. And I am actually proud that she has noticed. It makes me FEEL like I am in control of the influence I have on myself and on the people around me. I am still a very long ways away from being one who naturally reacts positively, but she made me feel like I am making progress to that goal. Progress. What a beautiful word! More on this later!


Author's Bio: 

My name is Jake Andersen. I’m a dental student, a fan of change, and I believe that my words make a difference. I’ve always been interested in change and improvement. After reading several books, often having a hard time applying them to my own situation, I began writing my own material utilizing “I” and “me” as much as possible. I’ve found that it helps my readers to better relate to the material and apply it to their own situations. I encourage you, the reader, to do the same. Peace.

Jake Andersen