A text-only version of this post originally appeared in my GoodReads blog on January 31, 2011. However, as I look around me today, I think it needs to be shared again. I hope that it is of some help to my readers.
It seems that a great many of my friends are a bit down in the dumps today. Sometimes it seems like the rhythm of life just does that to us.
I would like to share two concepts with you.
The first is that it’s okay to sit with and experience an unpleasant feeling. Why? Because you can work out what it’s really about. People are starting to understand that it is thoughts, not events, that provoke feelings. An event is a fact (e.g., a person loses his/her job). It is the thoughts about that fact (“I have no value because I lost my job,” for instance) that provoke the feelings. In the example I’m using, a sense of low self-worth might be the feeling.
It’s not fun, really, but we need to accept that we have a full range of emotions. That’s the only way we can create a different set of thoughts about the event. Another way to think about the job loss event might be “I am now open to opportunities I might not have sought before.”
The second concept is equally, if not perhaps more, important: never be content with someone else’s definition of you.
This latter concept was on one of the slides at a seminar I attended last week, and I wrote it down in capital letters. How many of us are willing to buy into what someone else says about us, taking on the burden of a poor book review, a snide comment, etc., as though they are the truth of who and what we are?
You don’t have to. That person’s definition has nothing to do with the wonder that is you.
(Public domain image via Pixabay)