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are you losing

Have you ever said, “She made me feel so mad,” or something like that? It’s confusing, isn’t it? After all, where do feelings come from? And are we in control of our feelings, or are we at the whim of the actions of others? Are you losing it?

Let’s think this through. Are we losing it? Or do we have more control over our feelings than we sometimes want to admit?

Find an image.

The image above is called Girl with Balloon, by the artist Banksy. It’s one of the images I turn to when I feel like my emotions are getting away from me. It reminds me of a couple of times when my own young children lost their helium-filled balloons and become very upset. 

What images do you have in your mind when you think of your emotions getting away from you? Do you picture someone from your past who dominated your world and either made you feel like you couldn’t express your emotions fully, or even that what you felt didn’t matter at all? 

Are you losing it?

And what about right now? Do you feel like your emotions are yours, or are they mostly reactions to what others are feeling or guessing you might be feeling?

And in particular: are you “losing it?” Are you on edge at home or at work, and not sure how to stay centered in your own sense of happiness, sadness or anger? One way I use to tell how close I am to the edge is to listen to how I react when something happens suddenly, or unexpectedly. 

For example: I was walking to the Fred Meyer the other day. As I approached a little playground circle near the parking lot, I saw a skateboarder coming toward me. I did my best to indicate that I was respecting his skating, but also did not want to be hit. Nevertheless, the skater disregarded me and cut it so close, I felt like I might be knocked over. And out came the F-Bomb. To which the skater replied, “Body language, man.” To which I replied… Well, let’s just say it wasn’t my proudest moment. And immediately I thought to myself, “Hey, little buddy. What’s going on? Why did you yell at that guy?”

Who’s in control?

I could have blamed my outburst on the guy on the skater. I could have said, “He made me feel that way.” But that would be giving up a huge amount of agency. 

So — Who’s in control of my emotions? Sometimes I hear people say, “Well, that’s just the way you feel. No controlling emotions.” But is that true? 

How about this?

What if we were to be more intentional about the setting for our feelings? We could then ask ourselves, “Am I creating a healthy environment for my feelings? And continue that line of thinking to consider our habits for self-care.

If I didn’t sleep well last night, I might want to be on high alert for outbursts, for example. Or if I am not eating right and therefore not feeling great about my body, chances are I will not be as open to happiness as I could be.

In other words, instead of trying too hard to either control our feelings or feel that our feelings are at the mercy of those around us, what if we were to be more intentional about making a good home for our feelings?

The takeaway:

Think about the environment you are creating for your feelings.

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I can help you create a good home for your feelings.

And you have a couple of options for your next step. You could contact me and describe what you're going through. And I'll be in touch with suggestions. Or you can book a free session to make a time to get together and talk it over in person. Either way, I'm here to help you focusovercome resistance, and get moving again.