So what do anger, fear, guilt, hurt feelings, , and unworthiness all have in common? Well we may say the obvious…that being negative feelings, and the kind most of us do not welcome into our lives with open arms. Makes sense of course. After all, who of us wakes up in the morning anxious to encounter something or someone who through some sort of action causes us to experience any of these noted feelings. Don’t sign me up!
Ah, but then…..with a fresh look and a new perspective, is it possible we can take each of anger, fear, hurt, guilt, and feelings of unworthiness and turn them into tools?? Can we really add them into our mental tool box and leverage each one when we do in fact encounter them? That was the challenge put to us this week in our MKMMA….How do we use these feelings as tools?
It never surprises me that we are charged with another deep and reflective exercise for the week. It so happens that each of these feelings crossed my heart so far in this week. How is that possible when I am a pretty happy go lucky person, someone with a positive mental attitude and one who always looks at a glass half full…preferably of a good wine? It is not a surprise to me as well, that when I am discovering something new about myself, the right and necessary question is put in front of me.
Back to these “tools”…..a busy, complex, and rather emotionally hectic week created the energy for me to have experienced each of these as I noted….unusual for all in one week… When I removed myself from each situation and in fact, became the observer, who was then looking at me and the situation from a distance, so to speak, each of the situations and the associated feelings made way more sense! I can’t always understand a situation when I am in the middle of it. The observer role allowed me to remove myself from the event and look at it with a more open mind, and simply detach from the outcomes. …like watching a play and simply observing and not making judgements. Who said, ” Observation is power. Judgement is weakness.” ? Some great mind I cannot remember.
So how did I use the tools?
For ANGER, I was able to use that intense energy to get me through not only the situation itself, but also it helped me to sustain it for a long stretch of time so I actually accomplished even more during that intense time. It made me stronger, not weaker. A great tool.
As to FEAR, well in a similar way that pounding in my heart made my energy levels higher than normal, so in order to work to rid myself of the fear, I concentrated more on the task at hand. That’s a good thing and made the task easier to deal with and is was finished faster. Another great tool.
So for GUILT, well it struck me as I was feeling it, it actually validated for me what my principles are; what I consider my integrity, my values. When I was feeling it, it felt I was out of alignment with these values. So is that a bad thing? Not if he helped me to get back into integrity. Yep, another great tool.
Ok, so for HURT FEELINGS, that was a troubling one. Then I realized I could only be hurt if I cared even about something or someone. I did as was the case. Wow, that was a show stopper to help me recognize that caring for someone or something is important and it sure is worth it when a hurt feeling comes along as a reminder. Add this tool to my mental toolbox forever.
UNWORTHINESS, this is a feeling I have been all too familiar with most of my life. It is one that I have chipped at overcoming over many years, yet pops up again every so often. When I experienced it this past week, I was immediately reminded about some unfinished business; some promises I made I needed to keep. That rang loud for me again as I valued the feeling when I could see its usefulness. A gentle nudge or a big bang…either way, it was a chance to get back to what was outstanding. Yes, another great tool.
So adding into my positive mental attitude toolbox, I can now say I have these 5 new tools. They are not for you to borrow. You can create your own should the situation occur.
ANGER – FEAR – GUILT – HURT FEELINGS – UNWORTHINESS