I admit I am a people watcher. I am always and forever curious about how the human mind works and what makes people tick. Lately, I have noticed there are some common themes, we as humans seem to fall easy prey to.
They are all different emotions that affect us at various times in our lives and for some of us, they rear their ugly heads more often than not. Once they get going, they can team up on you and churn you in a repeated vicious cycle. It is easy to get caught up in them because they are powerful emotions. I am sure we have all been guilty of it at some point in our lives. So, let me give you an idea of how shame, blame, and hate might look like when they bubble up in your life.
Being ashamed of who you are, what you look like, your economic status, your family, something a friend did, something you did, something you said, something you did not do, something you did not say. Shame can be so powerful and overwhelming it can leave your head spinning. It can make you believe things which are not true about yourself or someone else. It is one tough emotion and it seems to plague the human race.
It is all your fault, it is someone else’s fault, you would not have done it if he/she would have behaved/done something differently, someone caused you to react a certain way, think a certain way, feel a certain way. It is your fault because you should be a better person, you should look different, act different, be other than you are. Blame is almost a dirty word. No matter how you slice it, it does not look good on you or on anyone else. Blame can and often does, lead to shame.
Runs along with its fellow emotion Anger. This can easily be self-hatred or hatred for someone or something else. Sometimes it is both and they run along beside each other hand in hand. I hate myself, because of what other people think of me and say about me. I hate other people because they do not understand me and make me feel bad about myself. I hate this person or that person because of race, religious differences, sexual preferences….or just because they are simply different. Hate and its friend Anger are a powerful duo and they can consume your life in an instant. Sometimes they worm their way into your life over time. Hate often leads to Blame, and sometimes leads to Shame.
BREAK THE CYCLE!!
The funny thing about emotions and feelings are, believe it or not, you have a lot more control over them than you might think. You can choose to feel, how you feel, most of the time. You can make conscious decisions about what you allow to affect you and what you do not. I am not saying it is easy! We are not taught to think outside of the box in this way. Often, too often…we think that if we feel it or think it, then it must be true. However, there are many times where this simply is not true.
Ever been really scared about something? Thought for sure you would just die if you had to do it, or go through it? Then after you encountered the “scary thing” and made your way through it, realized that you did not really have to be scared of it after all? Well, and of course you absolutely did not die. So, were your feelings honest with you?
I encourage you to work through how you feel before you allow it to consume you, or assist you in making a decision about someone or something. With practice, you can learn when to allow your emotions and feelings to rule how you are feeling and what you are thinking; and when to tell them to take a back seat or be quiet.
Choose: JOY, LOVE, LAUGHTER
BE/THINK/FEEL…POSITIVE whenever possible.
Reduce NEGATIVITY by reducing the things and people that try to bring it into your life.
BE REALISTIC: All of your emotions and feelings are important! As humans, we experience a range of them and they all matter. Just make the time, take the time….to recognize when they are valid and when they are not.
As well as when you can choose to exchange a negative emotion/feeling for a positive one.