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Owning Your Feelings

Feb 27, 2023

How many times have you said, “She makes me mad”, or “He is frustrating me”, or “That thing is annoying me to no end”?

When we say those sentences or similar ones, we are believing that other people are, or a particular situation is responsible for our feelings. “They caused me to feel that way.” We are giving someone or something the power to determine our emotions.

Blaming others for how we feel is not taking responsibility for our own emotions. The circumstances or the people do not cause you the way you feel. Your feelings are generated by yourself. You feel a certain way stems from your thoughts about a situation or a person.

Let us look at an example. You are on a plane. A man sitting not too far from you is snoring. Many people will think that the man is very annoying, disturbing the passengers around him. Some people may think that the man is exhausted, so let him be. The man who is snoring is a neutral circumstance. What causes your feelings about the man is your thought about the situation. Some people may think that it is natural for the man to snore in his sleep. Some people may think that the man should not be disturbing other passengers. Some people may have several other opinions about him.

In other words, people and circumstances do not cause our feelings. They are not responsible for our emotions.

To own our feelings is to take responsibility of how we feel. Instead of having the reflex of someone or something is causing your emotions, especially the negative emotions, identify what emotion you are experiencing. Identify and label the emotion.

Then take a step back and explore what you are thinking is causing your feelings. Oftentimes we are not aware of our thoughts until we pause and dig deeper to our subconscious mind.

Once you realize what you are thinking that is driving the emotion, then go deeper and find out why you have that particular thought. Maybe you are influenced by your upbringing. Maybe you are going through some things in life at the time. Maybe you have an opinion about another person or situation.

The more you recognize and acknowledge your thought process resulting in how you feel, the more readily you are to accept your emotions.

When you are not taking ownership of your emotions, you may resist them. Resisting to feel while you still have that particular thought about the situation will take you nowhere. You will create tension within you.

Reacting to the situation is another sign of blaming others for what you are feeling. Take that same example from above. A reactive response is when you yell out mean words at the snoring passenger.

You may also want to avoid that particular emotion all together. You may do something entirely different, such as indulging in playing video games, or over stuff yourself with snacks on the plane.

Owning your feelings is to embrace how you feel, no matter what the emotion is. Our thoughts determine our emotions. We act on our emotions. So owning your emotions also means that you are taking responsibility for your actions. We get to decide what to think about a certain situation or someone. We are empowered in such that we ultimately decide how we feel, without giving that power away to someone or something. We get to choose to feel better or stay in that particular emotion. We get to experience the emotions as we take ownership of it, as opposed to avoiding it, resisting it, or reacting to it.

Are you ready to stop feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Are you ready to have more time to do what you want?


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