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Don't Let Sadness Be Your Wheelhouse
Feelings are much of what shape our lives. They guide us, scare us, make us feel brave, make us shake in our boots, make us feel like shit, make us take action or make us shelter in place. They make us retreat and live our past over and over again because we haven't gotten past something from that time, or they push us into a future we can’t foresee. When feelings get out of control and make us reach the point of panic however, rational thinking ceases to exist! Every voice of reason in your head will try to disconnect with each other because panic disables clarity, and the result of that is more panic. When we panic, we tend to make irrational choices that lead to immediate gratification rather than looking at the big picture we'll have to live with somewhere down the road.
Some of our feelings make us sad, some make us happy. The happy ones just sort of wash through us and we don't give them much thought because they give us moments of euphoria. The sad ones though, often times actively try to bury those moments. They feel like a toothache that nags you day after day but you're not in enough pain (yet) to see the dentist. When you refuse to see the dentist, what you're actually doing is, you're teaching yourself to tolerate your pain rather than eradicate it.
Sometimes we don't even know why we feel sad, we just do. We’ve all been guilty at some point in our lives of letting ourselves linger in that ‘down-in-the-dumps’ place a little too long, and maybe a little more often than we’d like. When we don’t know how to handle that feeling, we often don’t do anything because our hope is that it will just go away on it's own. It’s like having a sliver, which you refuse to remove. When you do nothing about that sliver, it festers and eventually causes an infection. That infection can spread and taint everything in your body. It can make you very sick. It can eventually kill you.
Emotional slivers are equally dangerous because they can lead to a plethora of disorders such as depression, anxiety, and physical ailments. Why do we let that happen? F.E.A.R! Fear always commands us to do nothing but stay right where we shouldn’t be or don’t want to be, all because change is scary. Fear says – if you lose your sadness, I will give you guilt as a replacement, so stand down, buckaroo! The FEAR BRAIN wants you to believe that you cannot be or feel anything different because you are getting what you deserve. The fear brain is a nasty Mother Fucker! There is no emotion stronger or more willing to take your hand and never let it go! Why does that happen? It happens because you may have forgotten that you have options and tools at the ready to help you out of that hopelessness and flatness you feel. You’ve forgotten that you have the opportunity and the ability to change. how. you. feel. because you’re just worn the fuck out! You’ve thrown in the towel and made yourself believe that you can’t retrieve the towel and start over!
Why would you choose to stay fallen when you can pick yourself up? Why do you think you have to punish yourself on a daily basis? For the most part, it’s because all you did was react to something and then you bought that hook, line, and sinker, without exploring any other feelings you could have felt about it. It is what it is, and you hold on to that because at least it's something. It gives you the opportunity to lay blame on everyone else but yourself. It's the trump excuse for not fixing your life!
Reacting is an immediate feeling. It generates itself in a split second. You can hold onto that feeling OR you can dissect it. For example: someone said something to you about your appearance—you can either let shame or loathing wash over you – OR - you can take it as a wake up call. You can walk away and continue to feel hurt – OR - you can ask yourself if you are practicing enough self-care. You can believe what they say and carry that burden around with you and feel shamed or embarrassed – OR - you can look at it like a little kick in the ass you needed to get you back on track. (Motivation sometimes comes in really odd ways.)
Like I said before – you can leave the sliver to fester – OR - you can remove IT and the pain forever! You can grow from the experience or you can shrink from it!
You can rethink a feeling at any time. You can put a different spin on it. You can kill the reaction with reason because you are not the same as you were when that reaction popped into your brain, even if it was something that happened moments ago or years ago. You can stop believing that feeling and take its power of hurting you away just by exploring the roots from which that feeling arose. You may not have been in a good emotional place at the time. You may not have been mature enough to understand what you were reacting to at the time.
Don’t let your FEAR BRAIN control everything. Change must be looked at with a ‘this will only hurt for a second’ attitude! Make yourself stronger than your fears! Allow the idea that, what you felt then, does not have to ring true now.
Emotional suicide is not, and should never be, the answer! Don’t stand your ground in only the broken places! If you want out of your sadness, you need to put the same amount of energy into chasing happiness, as you’ve given to chasing your sadness! When you chase your 'new' self, you begin to shut down the fear brain and allow yourself to see the door to make your escape from S.A.D (situational attitude disorder)!
If you had nothing to lose, what feeling would you change today?