Take charge of your emotions

Written by Amie on October 2, 2009 – 11:54 pm -

You can’t make me feel a certain way

The quote, “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent”,  by Eleanor Roosevelt was one of my favorites at the beginning of my healing process. It made me realize that I can’t “make” anyone feel anything, nor can anyone “make” me feel anything. I am in charge of how I feel, and I get to decide what my reaction is to what people say to me. As an adult, I take charge of my emotions and reactions to what others say to me. I had to learn how to “not take things personally” when someone would say something to me that felt as though they were attacking something about who I am. In reality, when someone says something hurtful to me, I can see that it is more about them than it is about me.  Also, quite frequently when someone says something that hurts me, they don’t even realize they are being hurtful. It is sometimes my story that makes me feel bad. I am assuming that I know what they meant by something, and I tell myself a story that matches that. This makes me suffer. Instead, I can tell myself that maybe they meant something else entirely, or maybe they are shut down to their own feelings. When I am taking charge of my reactions, I can choose how I want to deal with situations that are hurtful to me. There are more options open to me when I am present with my reactions. It still takes work for me to stay present with my reactions. I try to practice conscious awareness, and listening to the stories and thoughts going through my head. It is empowering knowing that my stories are stories and I am in charge of what to do next.

My reaction is my choice

It feels good knowing I have control over what I choose to think. And, it feels even better knowing that I can express myself without the fear of thinking I make anyone feel anything. Obviously, I am not talking about saying intentionally mean spirited things to people. I am talking about responsible, healthy shows of emotion. For years I held back feelings and thoughts because I thought they would hurt another persons feelings. I thought it was my fault if someone reacted in a negative way to something I said or to a feeling I expressed. It was a very long process, and one I am still working on. I talk to myself often! I have to remind myself that expressing emotions is healthy, holding them back for fear of another persons reaction is not healthy. When we hide who we really are for fear of another persons reaction, depression sets in. Many of us are able to “act” as though things are fine, but if we are hiding our truth underneath the facade, depression is present on some level. This has been my experience, anyway. Suppressing truth invites depression.

No more just keeping the peace

Once I learned that I can’t control how someone decides to react to my emotions, thoughts, and beliefs, I felt a freedom awaken in me. I felt a sense of relief that it really is OK to be who I am. The message I learned previously was to hold back who I was in order to “keep the peace”. What a relief to know the only reason I was doing this was because I learned to be the good girl, to go along with what others wanted from me, instead of listening to my heart and following what felt true for me. I learned to be afraid of what others thought of me. I would judge myself through the reactions I received from those around me. My emotions were based on how other people saw me, and what they said to me.

Guilt, shame and anger

Discovering the fact that no matter what someone says to me, it is up to me how I respond, I can never be a victim of someones words. It really is true that nobody can make me feel inferior without my consent. Nor can they “make” me feel anger,guilt,shame, etc. I may still feel these emotions at times, but now I know it is in my control as to what I do with these feelings. I took responsibility for my thoughts and feelings, and I also gave back the responsibility for other’s feelings to their rightful owner. What a relief to know that I can’t control another persons feelings! I am responsible for my own emotions and reactions, and other people have the same responsibility for theirs. I felt as though a weight was lifted off me.  I know that I can express myself in a healthy way, and others can as well. I am not responsible for their reactions to me! I am not responsible for the way anybody else reacts and I am not responsible for their feelings!


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