In the early 1970s, I studied T/A (Transactional Analysis), a self-help method of understanding psychology. It hit the public with the launch of a book, Games People Play, by Eric Berne, MD and was followed by another very popular book titled, I’m OK, You’re OK, by Thomas A Harris, MD. The first one was copyrighted in 1964 and the second book in 1967. It is interesting that these books are still available new today on Amazon.com and elsewhere. I was certainly not alone in finding them extremely helpful and instructional, as I still believe they are equally today.
“Feelings are much like waves.
We can’t stop them from coming,
but we can choose which ones to surf.”
— Jonatan Martensson
[Classic post from 12-2-09]
One of the things I learned that has never left me is to “own my own feelings.” The premise is that no one can ‘make’ you feel anything, but that you ‘make’ yourself feel. There is a great deal of truth in this. I have used this for myself for almost 40 years, and I use it all the time. Whenever I feel something, I pretty much automatically now think that I need to own that feeling and not blame it on someone else. This helps me to understand what is really going on instead of reacting to others. I’m not a robot, it is a constant work in progress, and I get better at it all the time.
So, here’s the deal: I can ‘feel’ the emotion, but I don’t have to ‘feel’ the pain if that makes sense. This is why I love this quote above so much because I can feel the feeling so that I’m not like a stone, but I can choose which feelings I want to ‘surf,’ or plug into or explore.
In other words, I don’t have to agree with someone who may be saying something to me. I can choose a different thought about that. Sally Field said it this way: “It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.” Taking charge of which emotions to surf is critical in an entertainers life for sure but just as important on our own.
People only have the power that you elect to give them based on what you think of yourself. Frankly, it is a wonderful thing to realize this and take charge of it and control it myself. Even if something someone says that I don’t like rubs off on me and I feel little crappy for a while, it will be a very short while until I realize what I’ve done and then turn it back around and be back in charge of my own emotions. Believing in yourself, your value, your worth is awesome and you will be rewarded with an uncrushable self-image.
That kind of self-image is unstoppable!
I Choose My Emotions. I Do Not Allow Others To Choose Them For Me. I Am In Charge Of Me.
Spread Some Joy Today–Today I Want You To Choose Happy Thoughts About Yourself All Day. Have A Lot Of Them On Purpose. Smile As They Pass By. Feel The Joy Inside. You Are Awesome! You Are Exceptional! You Are Wonderful!