Or, in other words, those rocking chair emotions.
You know what I mean…
These are the most common, in my experience, and ones I think most of us can identify with feeling.
They are those emotions that can be compared to sitting in a rocking chair…we just keep rocking and never get anywhere…
So what makes us feel so attached to them if feeling them gets us no further ahead?
They can consume us, it is as though they are burning into our soul…we will worry about nothing if there is nothing to worry about; we get jealous by fabricating a story in our head before knowing all the facts; or we might allow our actions to be dictated solely from that evil place of guilt without even consulting any logic.
Again, I cannot help but wonder why so many of us drift into these same patterns…these wasted emotions that only deplete our energy.
Since I’ve had a lot of time to think about this and more time to chat about with clients who grapple with them, I’ve developed a theory.
I believe we have this idea that as long as we are feeling the emotion, in a sense we are being selfless…but perhaps it is the opposite…
Let’s breakdown the three from above:
The oh so popular one…worry. We tend to think if we keep on worrying, nothing bad will happen. It can get to a point of feeling uncomfortable if we are not worrying. I will use my mother as an example since she has mastered the art of this. I know, most mothers worry as she did when her children were young. However, it is not until she was older that worry really became part of her. It was a habit that got harder to break. Sometimes the worry would be understandable based on circumstances, but at others, when life’s waves were flowing nicely, it was as though she would seek out a new one. This would be something that held little relevance, such as worrying about weather that has not happened yet even if she was not expected to go out in it.
And then there is the infamous guilt…we can make ourselves feel guilty over anything and somehow convince ourselves if we feel guilty, then this is the same as making it all better. A common example of this is not being able to say no. The guilt overtakes you even though, in reality, you know you have already contributed in many other ways and do not have any energy left to do one more thing, or maybe you just don’t want to do it. Either way is okay, the thing is, you are not even required to provide an excuse with your no. You do not need to explain yourself. However; the guilt…it seems to think something else. It has this idea that if you say no, you are facing a future of doom without chance of redemption.
Let’s move onto the next one…
Jealousy – now, before you tell me you are not the jealous type…don’t tell me you are not familiar with the feeling. It is like this little temptation that creeps into us even when we try to rationalize it. Jealousy is in the same family as envy and comparing to others. I grew up with the idea that whatever I was doing was not really good until we could compare to another similar example. School marks are a good example – that 85% is good, but it can become exceptional when no one else in the class scored more than 80%.
Back to jealousy. This often stems from ideas such as comparing ourselves or believing others have it better than us. Social media adds a whole other layer to this as we can see only the best from all of our friends’ lives without ever sitting down to have a live face-to-face chat with them. If you are in a relationship, jealousy might lead you to creep out your partner’s feeds and convince yourself they are straying from you…
Here’s the bottom line. Although we all might be familiar with the above, chances are you are also aware these emotions lead us nowhere. As a result, they drain our energy and leave us feeling unsatisfied or down on ourselves. This could also produce feelings of anxiety, depression, or anger over time.
But we still do it!
Here’s the other thing, those wasted emotions…they are not you and you can tell them to go away.
We can choose differently.
We can replace these with other more zestful emotions.
All of these have an element of trust. But trust is a big one and learning to trust yourself can be the greatest thing you ever do. When I say faith, this does not imply a religious faith, but a faith in yourself and how your life is unfolding. And we become more open to love when the other two are in place. Acting out of a place of compassion and forgiveness can offer a lightness to our being.
So, the next time you think you are acting selflessly with these wasted emotions, think again. These emotions are more about you and what you think is expected of you.
Finding the courage to allow trust, faith, and love into your life can seem selfish at times since it requires soul searching and making yourself your number one care. But, you will be surprised at how untrue this is. When we are honest with ourselves, we create space inside of us that makes caring for others more sincere and genuine.
Your energy changes.
It’s all a matter of perspective…