We say it in despair, in desperation, in denial and it even becomes a punch line, an excuse. Hey, I’m stuck in my emotions. It’s not what happens around us that determines what we feel. It is what we say to ourselves that does. Now, of course, I am talking about emotional feelings we attach to conversations, situations and events, and not physical ones. Physical feelings are more intuitive, from the primal brain, like the “fight or flight” kind of fear, or being physically attracted to someone.
Our words when talking about everything from vocal technique, to not knowing how to get funds to pay for career opportunities, to hitting that brick wall are all conjured from our own self talk; you know that internal conversation we have with our “Brat”. You experience it when dealing with friends and family. You use it when you let the “Brat” talk you into making choices that are not productive or helpful. Being “stuck in your emotions” makes one believe it’s impossible to change. You begin to feel like the world is moving too fast and you are just standing still or even worse running around in circles. Frustrating, isn’t it?
Allowing yourself to be stuck is really about letting your emotions literally run away with you. It doesn’t even feel like you anymore, but some evil twin taking over. You know in your heart of hearts and in your soul that what you are experiencing during these periods of time isn’t the real you. But how can you stop this cycle of beating yourself up and get back on track?
“Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.” — Art Buchwald
The real road to success is lined with the battle scars that accumulate when learning where that fine line is that keeps your emotions balanced and in check. Eckhart Tolle says, “Offer no resistance to what is, (stay out of your emotions when dealing with an experience), take action if productive or don’t, and no matter what, don’t become attached to the outcome.”
Emotions are a unique phenomenon that we as humans get to experience. Emotions play a huge role in our lives. They are active and alive twenty-four hours a day, even in our dreams. They often can and do take us on amazing fact finding journeys where we learn from both our good and bad experiences. Each person has their own emotional barometer with its varying levels of intensity. However, when your emotions start tripping you up and tossing you into a rut habitually, it might be time to consider making a change before this sequencing of thoughts becomes a drug.
“Facts are facts; our emotions are simply our opinions of the facts. If we can control our opinions, we can control our emotions.” — Michael Haregrove
Behaviorists have determined that eight out of ten of our thoughts are negative. Wow – that’s 80%! As a matter of fact, did you know that there are roughly two and a half times more words in the English language representing negative emotions than there are for positive ones? Next time you’re bored with nothing to do, read the dictionary and count for yourself! You’ll see.
Life is made up of a series of experiences where you are forced to quickly evaluate each situation and act accordingly. Since the way you represent each situation to yourself is through yourself talk, the ranges of your emotional experiences are limited to your readily accessible emotional vocabulary. If your readily accessible emotional vocabulary is limited to 10 to 15 words, and 70% of those are negative, is there any wonder why so many of you find yourselves feeling down, depressed or equally as undesirable (as far as I’m concerned) “just okay.” If you habitually use the same 10 or 15 words, then your life experiences, your emotional repertoire, will be confined to those same limits.
So, as you expand your emotional vocabulary, you need to be sure to establish more positive words than negative. Try a ratio of four to one. Go crazy and ferret out the gradual gradation of words that will give you the widest range of feelings between 1 and 20, 1 being ecstatic, over the top happy and 20 being just sort of OK. You need to not only memorize these new words but to also condition yourself to use them regularly. This will take time, but with practice, persistence, and patience, this simple exercise can dramatically improve the quality of your life.
“Do or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda
Here is another interesting idea to try. When you notice you are hearing you or your “Brat” use particular words that turn you into a puddle of quivering negative jelly, write that word down and immediately get out your Thesaurus. Look up that particular word, read all the possible equivalents finding the one that seems absolutely absurd or silly making you LOL and each time you hear or use the harmful word in your external or internal conversation, replace it immediately with the new word what has no emotional attachment what so ever. This will, over time, make some serious and delightful changes in your life.
We need to condition ourselves to speak to ourselves the way we would a child we love. We would never speak to a child in a way that would discourage or wound them. We should treat ourselves with the same respect and reverence.
The Eastern philosophies have a saying that goes something like; “Stand forever diligent at your mind’s gate.”
Becoming emotionally congruent on the inside, allows you to exhibit integrity between your values and your actions on the outside, giving you a strength of spirit that is evident to all that come in contact with you. Inner values and principals expressed by your words guide and keep you on track providing an opportunity for the creation of trust in yourself. If you know who you are and what you believe in, you provide yourself with the freedom to examine your own courage for standing up for what you believe in without getting sidetracked by or stuck in your emotions. Even huge trees are able to bend with the wind while remaining firmly rooted in the ground.
Avanti and ciao until next time,