Do you have control over your emotions? Do you have control over other people's emotions? Sometimes we blame others for our emotions so we don't have to face what they reveal in us. The truth is, they're our emotions and we need to take responsibility for them.
I've lived for a time where ‘victim’ was my unspoken state of mind*. I was uncomfortable with my emotions and believed that they were caused by something outside of myself. My happiness, comfort, and well-being were placed in the hands of others. I relied on other people for their ability to take care of my desires and emotions. Although they didn’t know it, they were responsible for my quality of life.
Whose problem is it?
Who are they anyway? And why did I give them so much power?
It stemmed from this basic principle. My emotions are mine but I didn’t want to own them. When I became disappointed in someone’s behavior I would throw blame into the air. It would flutter around between me and my oppressor. It served as a cloud of smoke that kept me from seeing that they are simply living their life differently than mine. It also kept me from looking into the mirror and seeing what this disappointment was revealing in me.
Blame would dismiss me of any responsibility for dealing with my emotions.
Fear was another reason I didn't own my emotions. It's uncomfortable to communicate out loud that I'm disappointed with someone or a situation. If I do that, they won't like me. I'm afraid if I share my disappointment (fear, anger, you choose the emotion) people will abandon me. That’s what this was really about. I sometimes hide my emotions because I'm afraid if I reveal them, the other person will reject or abandon me.
But the truth is, our emotions reveal how we feel about our self.
Ask the Questions
Who is responsible for your emotions? Are you willing to share them and allow others to see your true self? Do you blame others for ‘making’ you feel bad? Are you sure that if ‘they’ would just be nicer, more considerate or . . . more like you, you wouldn’t have to feel so awful?
We all have emotions. They’re a signal of what’s going on within our self. Ask yourself questions like,
- ‘Why am I so angry?’
- ‘Why does her comment bother me so much?’
- ‘What am I really afraid of?’
- ‘Why am I allowing him / her to have so much power in my life?’
. . . and then ask yourself the next logical question. It usually takes 2 or 3 more to get to the root of what's bothering you. So often we don’t want to face ourselves. We don’t want to look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m being judgmental’ ‘I’m afraid’ ‘I’m needy’ or ‘I need to change.’
It's healthy and empowering to own your emotions. Knowing where they come from will give you the freedom to deal with them so they don't control you.