Take it back a step, of course.
If we're not our thoughts or emotions, well, who controls them?
We do! We're the damn boss, & it's about time they knew that.
Oooh, easier said than done, of course (or is it?) If you've (as I have) spent a lifetime believing that our thoughts & emotions were us, it can be a tricky mindset to adjust.
- "I'm angry"
- "I feel cheated"
- "I worried about this"
Nope, completely wrong.
- "I'm experiencing feelings of anger"
- "I'm experiencing feelings of being cheated"
- "I'm experiencing thoughts of worry"
Choose to walk? Choose to fly. Pic by missvivienne
Ever seen kids at play? They bang themselves, cry, then two minutes later they're back playing again, as happily as if it never happened.
What's going on here? Ok, short attention span might help. Being in the moment definitely helps, but a very important factor is this:
They haven't been trained that they're "supposed" to hang onto things yet.
They don't know about holding onto grudges, or resentment, or pain.
Remember the first time someone really, deeply, hurt you? Still feel that?
Well, how long are you going to hold onto that pain for? Hell, for all you know, the person that caused it is dead now.
Ok ok, so I'm not saying this to belittle the pain you've experienced in your life. Not at all.
The point is this — we make a choice. We always make a choice.
With every thought, every emotion, we make a choice. Hold onto it, or let it go.
Sometimes we have rules. Eg, it's ok for us to let go of these thoughts or emotions:
- After a certain period of time ("Oh, that was years ago")
- After the other person has behaved a certain way (eg, apologised)
- After the other person has suffered
- .. or is dead.
All these rules. Why? They're all bullshit.
They're all rules that we're holding onto that stop us from experiencing happiness now.
How about if you had new rules.
- When the physical pain dissipates, I choose to forget about the incident that caused it
- It's safe to let go of pain, because I remember the lessons learned
- Regardless of how those around me behave, I am the boss of my emotions, & I'll choose how I react (if at all)
- I will only continue to entertain thoughts that I enjoy & let the rest go
- I will actively choose to think thoughts that make me feel better
- If doing something makes me feel better, I'll do it more often.
- If doing soomething makes me feel worse, I'll do it less.
Or, best of all, just decide, "I'm the boss of how anything makes me feel."
Because, & here's a huge secret, YOU ARE.
pic by phuongthao202002
Now yes yes, I can hear you bringing up objections. Life isn't always that simple. It's complicated, messy, we never know what's happening next.
Well here's another secret (I'm full of them today). It's not about being perfect. It's just about being better. Just a little better, tiny steps at a time.
Sure, we all have days where we're a bit slow on the uptake. Get into a bad spiral & take a while to twig to what's going on. That's perfectly ok. Totally normal. Utterly usual.
The point is simply that every moment we choose a higher vibration thought or emotion over a lower one. Ie, we choose to let go of things that bug us, is a moment we become happier.
Another great thing about this process is that if we truly let go, then those thoughts & emotions, over time, stop recurring.
We do, genuinely become happier.
How do I know this? Well, this is exactly what I've been doing over the last few weeks.
In some very real & measurable senses, my life is currently the worst it's ever been. Know what? I don't care. Sure, I've had some freakouts. Total wigouts where I've been a mess for a day. Then I pick myself up, let go of the crappy thoughts & emotions. Heal anything obvious.
And then? Yes. Feel better. Feel happy. Truly. Peacefully.
Even in this situation, I can honestly say I have never felt happier in my life. What's more, every day I know I'm slightly happier than the day before, on average.
The mess around me will be sorted, and soon. Life always changes, & external things will improve. And I'll be happy then too. Because I've chosen to be. Just made a decision "I don't care what happens around me, I'm going to do everything I possibly can to be happy."
Life has ups & downs, definitely, but the more of those downs I choose to let go of, the happier I'm becoming… and if I can do it, so can you. One thought, one emotion at a time.