This “epiphany” hit me a few years ago…well honestly it was shouted at me by my husband during an argument. You know the early years of marriage when you fought over every simple topic as if it were life and death. But still I will give credit where credit is due.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO ACT THE WAY THAT YOU FEEL
Well, first how dare he tell me not to feel my feelings, second I am human not a robot, third how dare he tell me not to feel my feelings! So right there is huge miscommunication…he didn’t tell me not to feel my feelings. He said; I don’t have to act the way that I feel. At the time I didn’t understand the concept that feelings and actions are not the same thing.
Feeling are something every person has all day every day. We don’t know why we feel the way we feel sometimes. We wake up in the morning feeling A-Okay and by 10am we could just punch someone in the face! Oh…is that just me? Feelings drive all actions. There is space between the feeling and the action. That space is what I’m talking about.
Feelings are the catalyst for actions. We don’t act without provocation and that comes from feelings. Actions and reactions are the few things we can control in life. We are in control of how we respond to things coming at us all day long. This includes the feelings we have when interacting others, observing others, and the feelings that our brain blesses us with, without warning.
Someone cuts you off in traffic and you flip them the bird…that’s on you. Someone throws you under the bus at work and you talk badly about them…that’s on you. Another mom says something ugly about your child and you push her kid off the swing…that’s on you. What too far? I think you get the idea!
THIS IS GOOD NEWS! THIS MEANS YOU ARE IN CONTROL!
You are in control of feeling a feeling without reacting or distracting from it. This gives you time to think through the feeling and flush out what is going on. Are you misinterpreting due to your own junk or is the other person acting out due to their own junk? We forget this principle, you don’t have to act the way that your feel, mostly with the people we are closest to. We lash out and vomit our feelings all over them, without thinking it through. The people we love the most don’t deserve that.
So, please let this be good news for you! This concept that is super simple but underutilized. You are in the driver seat! You are not a victim of your feelings. Flush out why you feel the way you do before you act on them.