Moving Beyond Negative EmotionsBy Dr.Margaret Paul
November 03, 2008
Do you feel like a victim - believing that others or circumstances are causing your negative emotions? Are you ready to let go of being a victim and move into personal power?
"Sooner or later, all of us must see that negative feelings toward another person is like tossing dust at him while the wind blows against us. It all comes back." --Vernon Howard, Psycho-Pictography
Negative emotions, such as anger, blame, resentment, misery, jealousy, hurt, guilt, shame, and anxiety, often come from thoughts we are having about another person.
Vernon Howard states:
It is strange how human beings miss the most obvious facts about their negativities toward others. A hateful man seldom reasons, "Hatred toward others makes me miserable, so in the name of common sense I'd better abandon it." Rarely does a resentful person think, "Resentment of other people drains my strength and destroys my mental powers, so I'd better clear it from my life."At other times, negative emotions are the result of lies we tell ourselves about ourselves, such as "I'm stupid," or "I'm ugly," or "I'm worthless." Even these negative thoughts are often in relationship to other people, fearing that others will think of you as stupid, ugly, or worthless.
Negative emotions such as anxiety and depression can also come from other lies we tell ourselves, such as "I'm going to end up being a bag lady (or a bag man)", or "I will end up alone my whole life."
All negative emotions are letting you know that, in one way or another, your thoughts are off track. Negative emotions are like big STOP signs, telling us to stop thinking the way we are thinking because our negative, judgmental, untrue thoughts are never going to get us where we want to go.
What happens when we ignore our negative emotions? What happens when we blot them out with various addictions, or continually believe that they are being caused by the past, by events and circumstances, or by other people?
We get stuck feeling like victims.
The only way out of feeling like a victim is to take full, 100% responsibility for your own feelings by connecting your thoughts with your feelings. By learning to be vigilant about your thoughts, you can gradually move yourself out of feeling like a victim and into personal power.
Even if your painful feelings are being caused by outer circumstances, such as various forms of loss - loss of a loved one, loss of employment, loss of finances - how you respond to these circumstances has a huge impact on how you end up feeling. If you compassionately embrace your loneliness, grief, and helplessness, you will not feel alone and abandoned inside. If you move into anger or blame, you will end up feeling victimized and will be stuck with your painful feelings.
We have all known people who have suffered a lot of loss, yet still maintain their ability to love, care, and laugh. These are people who have made a decision to stay connected with their own feelings and with a spiritual source of love, truth, comfort, and guidance. These are people who have decided to take responsibility for their feelings rather than allow people, events, or circumstance to determine how they think and feel.
Which kind of person do you want to be? Do you want to be like a ship without a captain, being blown here and there by people and circumstances, or do you want to be the captain of your own ship, steering your own course? The choice whether you want to be defined and controlled by externals - by people and circumstances - or by your own inner choices is entirely up to you.
Each moment you can choose to be a victim, or you can choose to come from an inner place of personal power and take responsibility for your feelings.
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If people could read your mind, what would you not want them to know? Today, focus on thinking thoughts that you would be happy to share with others - thoughts that energize rather than deplete your being.
By Dr. Margaret Paul