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feelings

Another lesson that I have taken a long time to learn

“You make me happy”

“What you said made me feel like crap”

“I didn’t end up going because of what you said”

All of these statements, and statements like it are 100% false. It’s taken me a long time to get to the heart of this lesson. Of course, I still say things like this, but I now know the true meaning behind my words.

When you say to a loved one “You make me happy,” or something similar, what you really mean is “The things you do and say give me a feeling of happiness.” It’s a subtle difference… but an important one. The only person who can ever make you happy is you. What?!?

What I mean is that everyone has their own reality, and their own way of processing things. To one person, “that thing” you said could be absolutely annoying. To another, it could be bliss. Conversely, YOU have the power to change how you think, what you think, and what your reality is. You simply have to have an open mind to yourself, and be flexible. If someone says or does something that’s annoying or “makes you feel” a certain way (upset, for example) – have a look at WHY it gave you that feeling. After all, you are choosing to feel a certain way based on what someone said. You have the power to choose otherwise 😉

dress
Image: dan | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For example, someone tells you they don’t like your dress. Automatically your brain starts racing: Does it make me look fat? Is the material hideous? I must look terrible! Everyone must be looking at me! I never should have bought this dress… Lets reel everything back in and hone in on the one most important thing: do YOU like your dress? In all honesty, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Herein lies your CHOICE: If you are comfortable, and you like the fabric, you can choose to feel good about your dress despite anyone’s opinion. Also – take into account that maybe that person just doesn’t like red… or would never wear that particular cut 😉

When we say things like “I didn’t end up going to the party because of what you said,” blame is being unfairly placed. No matter what anyone ever says or does, we ALWAYS have a choice. Sure, the things people say and do can influence how you feel, and therefore influence your choice – but in the end the choice is ALWAYS YOURS. Everything in your life is ultimately up to YOU. Choose to DO or DO NOT… there is always an option.

What I’ve learned is that we often don’t literally say what we mean. Language is a funny thing, but now that I have opened my eyes a little more, I try to be more careful with how I say things. On the other hand, I also take the words of others less personally. When someone tells me that I make them angry, I know that they mean that something that I have said or done has caused them to feel angry and I keep in mind that it’s their interpretation. In that situation, I do my best to apologize and clarify what I meant. Also when someone tells me that they did or said something as a result of my actions or words, I no longer take this personally either. No matter what I say or do – the choices of others remain just that: THEIR CHOICE.

choice
Image: nattavut | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Same goes for me! My choices are my own, no matter what the situation is.  My only responsibility is to myself and of my words, my actions, and my thoughts. I can choose to be happy – and I do!

Then again, this is just what I think. Take it as you will ❤

Everything you want – RIGHT NOW!

You know that not-so-great feeling you get when something is not going right? Sometimes you’re not even sure why you are not feeling quite right, and then it hits you. We feel bad/mad/sad/uncomfortable when things are not going “right.” What’s “right?” It’s when things are not in line with your personal morals, goals, or expectations. Basically – when you’re not getting what you want (or hope for).

Image: http://edwardrecommends.com/people

When a situation that has unfolded truly does not line up with my expectations or goals, it could be because of two general reasons. Either my goals are skewed, or the situation is skewed. Often, my instinct is to assume that the situations is skewed – someone has wronged me: she shouldn’t have said that, I can’t believe he didn’t call me back, etc.

Let’s be honest, it does happen. People make mistakes and sometimes say or do things that are not exactly fantastic. In this case –  I have very little responsibility. My responsibility lies with myself; in communicating to the other party how their actions or words have affected me. That’s all! It’s completely up to them to  further explain themselves in case I have misunderstood them, or to apologize. If I fulfill my responsibility of  letting them know that something they have said or done has negatively affected me, my work is done. If the other party doesn’t return the favour by helping to rectify the situation – it is simply a reflection on them. I know that I am not responsible for the actions of others, and that I can’t always get a full explanation, further understanding, or even an apology (if necessary).

On the other hand, I also make mistakes. Perhaps I have set an expectation too high, and when someone” fails” me – I again feel like I’m not getting what I wanted. It’s my responsibility to check those expectations and goals, to ensure that they are reasonable. Often I expect others to treat me exactly as I would treat them. This isn’t always plausible! Some people, by nature (*ahem* sometimes me…), bend over backwards and go above and beyond for those around them. Not that this is a bad thing… But if you are always leaping far beyond the expectations of others, it’s important NOT to always expect the same from those around you. So when a situation arises, and someone doesn’t meet my expectations and that not-so-great feeling arises – I check my expectations! Are they realistic? Why do I expect these actions of this person? If it seems reasonable, then I get back to responsibility land – of communicating with them about any problems I might be having, or questions I have.

So I’ve been learning – that I can’t always get what I want. And when I don’t, it’s good to check WHY I want what I want, and figure out if it’s reasonable. Once I have checked myself FIRST, and find that what I want (expect) IS reasonable – then the outside investigating begins… 🙂

The furrow

This morning I was thinking about the furrow.

What furrow you ask? Well, the furrow in your brow! I have a theory on furrows…

The furrow!I have been practicing anti-furrow techniques and I think it’s working! Have you ever been driving to work, sitting eating your lunch, or just enjoying the day – and noticed your brow was furrowed for no apparent reason? This happens to me frequently. I don’t have any terrible thoughts running through my mind, and the sun isn’t making me squint my eyes… so why is my brow furrowed? Now, sometimes a furrow is created by negative feelings or experiences – but the unconscious furrow is a bit of a mystery. Whether the furrow is caused by negative events, or just appears mysteriously and without reason, I have noticed a few things by experimenting with my furrow.

When your brow is furrowed, I have a feeling that it automatically puts your body and mind into a mildly negative spin. You naturally begin going with the furrow-flow and thinking of negative things, feeling negative feelings, reliving bad memories. The furrow sucks you into its state – thus perpetuating its lifespan on your face. I think the furrow likes being there, so tries to create more negativity so that it can stay alive longer.

Also, when your brow is furrowed – other people respond to your body language. Whether consciously or subconsciously, people notice your furrow and are automatically alerted that something negative may be happening. Our instincts kick in – our brow furrows in response (again whether consciously or subconsciously, it doesn’t matter) and the domino effect ensues. Soon there is a stream of brow furrowing – and all this because of one unconscious furrow!

I have noted some other things as well. If I notice myself furrowing, whether for no apparent reason – or because something is causing me to be furrowed, when I consciously unfurrow my brow and relax my face muscles… I find that my mood changes almost instantly. Could this facial expression trigger negative thoughts and feelings in the mind? I think it does! And it becomes a snowball effect.

Consider this: You are having a fantastic day and something insignificant or subconscious causes your brow to furrow . This starts a chain of events that effects not only you, but anyone who can see your body language. With brow furrowed, you begin thinking about the negative incident you witnessed the other day, which causes you to worry about something vaguely related, leading you to an absolutely terrible mood… I could go on. Someone – a complete stranger! – sees your furrow and their furrow is triggered (again – this could be entirely subconscious!) and their own cycle of furrow-related events ensue.

In my experimentation – I have noticed the following: When I notice that my brow is furrowed and unfurrow it (whether I am smiling or just have a calm face), I consciously notice that not only does it put me in a better mood, but the others around me (strangers or not) seem to be gradually transported to a better mood as well. It’s simple – try it!

Perhaps the brow furrow triggers a certain area of your brain – or vice versa 😉 Either way, if you notice your brow furrowing – whether something terrible is happening, or you notice an unconscious furrow – relax your brow and take note of how it alters not only your calmness, but the calmness of others around you!

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