What are you really feeling?

We tend to rationalize things in our life and force ourselves to feel a certain way. We can be angry and upset, and then look around us and say what right do we have to feel this way? While this is a good reality check and helps us to have perspective, sometimes it's healthy to look at a situation and ask how do we truly feel about this?

Forget about what you are supposed to feel, or how others think you should feel, and ask yourself what are you really feeling? You may feel hurt because a friend didn't call when rationally you know that they're busy. You should recognize that it's not rational, but you still need to acknowledge those emotions.

If you feel a certain way, you may succeed in talking  yourself out of it, but it would be beneficial before you do that, to consider and get to the bottom of why you felt that way. If you never acknowledge how you are feeling, eventually your emotions will get tired of always being forced aside and they will rebel. That could create a nervous breakdown or worse. And It’s much better to deal with emotions as they come, then working through years of emotion all at once.

Please try to understand

If I say to you, “I’m sad”  Do you actually know what I’m feeling?

We have words to describe different emotions, but there’s really no way to fully know how each individual person experiences them. We can only sympathize so far. When a friend is upset, we can imagine how we would feel in that situation, but we may not be picturing it correctly. We have different capacities for handling stress and emotional disruption. So we literally “feel” things differently. This can be unfortunate because when you are trying to sympathize with a friend, you could act either too calloused or overly sensitive.

The best way to compensate for that is to avoid projecting your own emotions into the situation, seek to understand, and let them create the picture for you as they talk and you listen.

And even if you never fully “get it” Your loved ones will appreciate your genuine effort toward understanding and that in itself will help to encourage them.

It’s all you

We often share our frustrations and woes with those we are close to. This can be beneficial to get the advice and encouragement of others, but we cannot rely too much on others to help with our problems. Quite often, when we are unsatisfied with something about ourselves and our lives, we are the only person who can make any changes or make things better. If it’s circumstances that we can’t change, then we are the only person who can decide to change our attitude and come to terms with the situation

If it’s something that we do have control over, then we are the only person who can decide to make the steps necessary to fix or resolve the issue.

Friends, family, and advisors can all be extremely helpful as catalysts for change, but we have to move ourselves if we actually want things to improve. No one else can do that for us. That’s an encouraging principle as well as a scary one. We do have the ability to control our actions and to improve our lives, but with that comes the responsibility to not complain about our lives, and instead take the actions necessary to create the change

How to Create a Good Mood

Emotions are fickle creatures, and difficult to control. But there are ways to pick yourself up instead of wallowing in the muck. It requires a conscious choice to feel better about a situation.

Start by rationalizing why it was okay. aka. look at the bright side. So if someone bleaches your favorite shirt, well think of how fun it will be finding a new favorite! Or you get a speeding ticket, well you are donating to the police force. In every situation, there are potential lessons to be learned, or there are benefits in some way. If you couldn’t go to the movies because you couldn’t find a babysitter, well you got to read books to your kids instead. Some people drive us absolutely crazy with envy because they always seem happy! Either they’re good liars, or they’ve learned the discipline to joyfulness. They look for the little patches of sunshine scattered throughout the dark valley, or the yummy chocolate chips in that horrible homemade carrot cake. Your turn: look for the positive and you will find it!

What’s In Your Hand?

Don’t think just because you don’t have the same skill set, or can’t do the same things as others, that you have nothing to give. There are plenty of excuses; too old, too young, too poor, too busy, but there are many ways to serve.

It’s the problem of too few options. People don’t help because they forget that their unique abilities are important and needed. Everyone can serve, it just looks different in each situation.

I heard this example used of What’s In Your Hand?

What do you have to give?

Can you write a note? Can you run an errand for someone? Can you sing? Sew? Give speeches? Do you have money? Time? Ideas? What do you have to offer? Don’t think its not good enough, sometimes the smallest act of service can be a huge blessing.

Humans are a needy bunch and it’s good to care for each other, and offer what we have. Service looks different for everyone and there are plenty of uses and needs for your skills and resources. So don’t withhold them just because you haven’t stopped to consider what you are capable of.