Sara's Life Clinic
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|Posted on March 5, 2014 at 10:24 AM||comments (96)|
We often view our emotions as something to endure or avoid if they are negative, or something to enjoy if they are positive. We think that our emotions are created by events or circumstances in our external world. This leaves us often feeling powerless because we cannot effectively control the world and the people around us. This is a very stressful form of existence. However, our belief that our emotions are created by our surrounding circumstances is untrue. It is an illusion. All of our emotions are created internally by our thoughts. It is not our circumstances that create our emotional state from moment to moment; it is our perception and judgement about our circumstances that cause us either pain or pleasure. Let me give you an example. Imagine a dog sitting in the middle of the road. One person walks past the dog and thinks ‘awwww how cute!’. This person feels good because their thought about the dog is one of love and appreciation. Someone else may walk past the same dog and think ‘Oh crikey, that dog isn’t on a lead. I hope it doesn’t come anywhere near me’. Now this person has had a fearful thought so their experience of looking at the same dog has created the negative emotion of fear. The dog is exactly the same, but the experiences of the two people in this example are polar opposites. This is because it is not the dog (external circumstances) causing the emotions in question, it is the perception and judgement of the individual that is causing the emotional reaction.
This is good news because this means we are actually in full control of our emotional state at any given moment. I know you will probably find this confusing because we have all been led to believe that we are annoyed because our partner doesn’t give us enough attention. Or we feel guilty because we ate that big cream cake earlier. These events in themselves do not create emotions within us. Our perception of these events causes the emotions. This is important because when we are in a negative emotional state, we are more likely to react in a negative way, thereby causing further stress. Take the example of thinking your partner is not giving you enough attention. This could lead you to think that your partner does not care for you as much as they used to. This could then lead you to feel fear (what will I do if they leave me?). It could lead you to feel isolated (I feel all alone because they are not paying attention to me). These negative feelings (caused by negative thoughts) then lead you to take negative action. You may snap at your partner and accuse them of neglecting you. You may decide to try and get attention from someone else outside of the relationship. Any number of negative reactions is possible. Now look at another way of dealing with the same situation. You observe that your partner has not been very attentive to you recently. You accept what is without judgement. You observe your own negative thoughts, learn from them and then, let them go. You observe the negative energy running through your body and you let go again. You smile because this event has taught you a bit more about yourself and your insecurities. Once you can observe your own ego at work, and observe your own emotional response, you tend not to take things so personally. You can then think about how best to deal with your partners’ inattentiveness. From this standpoint, you will feel much more empowered and are much more likely to take authentic action rather than melting down into an emotional puddle. From this position of strength you may decide to approach your partner and ask them if everything is ok. You may say that you have noticed they are a bit unavailable at the moment and you were wondering if there was anything you could do to help. Was there anything bothering them? Your partner may then explain that they have been very busy at work recently and apologise to you. The worst case scenario may happen where your partner tells you that they are no longer happy in the relationship. You may then go on to discuss why your partner is not happy and you may be able to resolve the issue or you may not. All I am trying to demonstrate here is that when you act from emotional clarity you are far more likely to resolve any situation you face without causing further negative ripples.
According to Gary Zukav in his book The Heart of the Soul, negative emotions are experienced when energy is leaving the body in fear and doubt and positive emotions are experienced when energy is leaving the body in love and trust. So we could view our emotions as signposts. We could view our emotions as important information telling us about the quality of our thoughts at any given moment. When we can observe ourselves in this way, it really does take the edge off the pain of our negative emotions and it empowers us to at least reach for a more positive emotional state.
|Posted on September 4, 2013 at 11:24 AM||comments (81)|
This story highlights the impact that just one limiting belief can have on your quality of life. I was pregnant and eager to be the best Mother I could be. I really wanted to stay at home with my daughter and be a full time Mother, but finances at the time would not permit so I had no choice. I returned to work feeling totally stressed. The stress I felt at this time could have been hugely diminished if I had just changed my perspective at that time.
You can be a good Mother and work!
My belief at that time was that being a good Mother meant staying at home. Because I couldn’t stay at home, I was constantly stressed because I felt I wasn’t being a good Mother. Because I was stressed I was constantly tense and anxious which made me tired and it robbed me of my usual sense of playfulness and fun. So in essence, my faulty belief had more of an impact on my daughter through my own behaviour than life circumstances. Instead of having a vibrant, playful Mother most of the time, she had a tense and anxious Mother. Children learn what they live, so this would have impacted my daughters sense of peace. The opposite of my intention!
As my daughter reached school age, my limiting beliefs continued. By this time I was also pregnant with my second daughter. I then went on to have a son. My stress levels chipped away at my energy as I continued to cling tirelessly to my limiting beliefs. The catalyst for change happened when I found myself sitting at my desk at work two days after my Mother died having not slept for four days. I knew I had to change my life but I had no idea where to start.
So, lesson number 1.
To give to those around you, you need to be full yourself. You can’t give what you don’t have. If you think of your emotional wellbeing as a bank account, in order to take emotional investments out of the account to give to those around you, you have to have something in there or you will be overdrawn. Being in the red will cause you stress. To keep your emotional bank full you need to constantly nourish yourself. Do this by regularly taking time to do things that you really enjoy. It is not selfish to put yourself first and look after yourself. In fact it is really beneficial to those around you because if your energy body is vibrating at a high frequency (which it does when you are happy) your energy will automatically raise the frequency of the energy of those around you. So basically you can make people feel better just by being around them!
Life lesson no 2
If you are regularly experiencing negative emotions, you are operating from a limiting belief. Our natural state of being is to be vibrant, happy and inspired for most of the time. If you are not experiencing this state of wellbeing, you are limiting yourself in some way through your beliefs. To uncover limiting beliefs, look at an area of your life that is causing you stress. To demonstrate this we can use my definition of being a good Mother as an example. I believed that being a good Mother meant being at home with my children and not working. Because I had to work, this caused me debilitating pain. So, let’s unpick this belief. Is it true for everyone that being at home with your children means you are a good Mother? No, obviously not. So therefore it is not true. It is not a universal truth, it was just my truth. So how could I change my truth? I could think of the opposite of this belief which would be ‘good Mothers work and stay at home’. I could then go on to think of ways to create a good environment for my children, which incorporated me working. Had I had sufficient self awareness at the start of my journey towards Motherhood, I could have saved myself years of stress, anxiety and self recrimination which would also have benefited my children greatly. Uncovering and challenging limiting beliefs can be difficult because to you they are the truth. Keep an open mind when doing this and be persistent.
Life lesson no 3
External events do not create our pain, it is our interpretation of those events that create our reaction. We will often look at the events and circumstances of our lives and judge them as good or bad. Depending on our judgment of the situation, we will then feel good or bad. We can therefore change our emotional response because we can change our judgement. I could have changed my judgement at any time with regard to my beliefs about being a working Mother. This would have given me immediate relief and would also have actually made me a better Mother! I do understand that some events in life are tragic and sad. One such event for me was my Mothers illness and death. No matter which way I framed this event, it would still be sad, but I could learn from it. This event prompted me to learn about health and disease by studying Homeopathic Medicine. Whatever pain you are faced with, you can make meaning out of it. Don’t let your suffering be in vain!
Life lesson no 4
Support those around you to fulfil their dreams but make sure you also fulfil your own. We all have a unique skill set and purpose in this world and it is our obligation to uncover our strengths and passions and use them. Our society at times seems to encourage us to constantly work on our weaknesses instead of developing our strengths. Find your strengths and indulge in your passions. That is what you were born to do.
Life lesson no 5
Use your emotions as a compass. As I stated before, if you are feeling negative for any length of time, this means you are not aligned with your true self and are operating from a limiting belief. Also, if you are familiar with the law of attraction, negative emotion is a signal to you that you are not creating what you want. Emotions are the best compass we have to find our way to our authentic selves. Instead of getting lost in your emotions, stand back and think of your emotions as a means of communication. Your emotions are telling you what is working for you and what needs to change. Be grateful to them for that.
All the above life lessons (and many more) helped me to change my life one step at a time. I started college (at weekends) to learn about Homeopathic Medicine. I realised I had a real interest in human behaviour so I studied numerous mind therapies and psychological coaching. You will also be pleased to know that despite my anxieties about my parenting, all my children have grown up to be productive stable members of society and they are all doing well. I now help people overcome emotional, physical and psychological pain by using Homeopathic Medicine and Psychological Coaching. I have made meaning out of my suffering!