Did you ever felt like beating someone? Did you ever felt like crying because of something someone else did? Did you ever tough that someone else has the responsible for the way of was feeling? Did you ever felt like there was nothing you could do but feel sad? Did you ever… felt like your feeling were someone else’s to change?
Those around us can have a huge impact on our live. And the closer they are to us, emotionally, more power over our lives they have. But your feelings are your own, and nobody, but you, can change the way you feel. No person, no matter how important you may think (s)he is for you have any power over your feelings, unless you allow it.
No feeling is shared by two person. Even two lovers (as in two people deeply in love with each other) don’t share a feeling. They may be both in love with the other person, but the love the first feels for the second is not the same love the second feels for the first. They may have similar and symmetric feelings, but still different feelings.
Yes, even the positive feelings, like happiness, love or friendship are your own, even when you see them as part of a shared relationship, those feelings are yours. But is not with those feelings that it is most critical that we understand that my feelings are mine only, and that your feelings are only yours.
Love doesn’t imply love, friendship doesn’t imply friendship. Feelings are not symmetric, even when they are truly reciprocated. But, most important, the way you feel in the sequence of someone else’ actions are not those actions, and are not a direct and unavoidable consequence of those actions.
Even if the actions in questions are a direct critic at your person, most likely those critics may say more about the other person that about you. But the way you feel about those critics will say more about you that about the other person.
You can’t avoid that someone who doesn’t like you skin color call you on it, but that doesn’t say anything about you. You know that you’re not your skin color, but you also got to know that the other person is just a racist unworthy of your time and attention. But if you get enraged and start a fight, that speaks for you, that speaks about your ability to self control.
You may see your flirty boyfriend/girlfriend as the source of your jealousy, but the true source is your insecurity, your expectations of being the only object of his/her attention. You may see him/her as untrustworthy, but you expecting him/her to be someone that (s)he is not doesn’t help.
Maybe you can’t change the way your boss treats you, maybe (s)he will keep calling you incompetent, instead of pointing you what are the errors in your work and helping you improve, but that’s her/his fault. But you can always do your best, you can always ask what you can do to improve it, you can always learn as much as you can. And not let the way (s)he treats you influence the way you feel.
But, the most important thing you can do about your feelings is start to look at them from a different perspective. Stop looking at your feelings as something that starts outside of you and think about them as something that starts and ends inside of you. And feelings, when unattended build up, grow inside of us and become harder and harder to ignore and understand. If we keep ignoring our feelings they will grow, they will get stronger and will keep asking for our attention.
Emotions, when they are small, when we feel them first, are most of the time easy to associate with their source. But as they get stronger, the only thing we can see are those feelings and the external causes for them, that we can’t change or control. The external sources for our feelings is a trick of our mind, of our ego, that don’t want to be blamed for anything. But even then, if you look deeply under your feelings you may still be able to see why you feel the way you do.
But when your emotions are born, it’s most of the time easy to remember what was in your mind when those emotions started to show. Stop it at that point and try to understand what you’re really thinking.
Most of the time emotions, negative emotions, like jealousy, sadness or anger usually start from expectations or fears. Expectations, negotiated or, most of the time, assumed – just because something is seen as normal in the society doesn’t mean that it can be assumed and that is automatically applies to everyone. But, still, we assume them. But still, we expect everything to go according with our expectations, but still we get jealous, angry, sad if something we don’t want happens, if someone does something we expected would not happen.
And we project those feeling in that person, and expect that person to fix our feelings, and we forget that those feelings are not theirs to fix. They are our. Our to fix, our to understand and, most of all, our to own.