Emotions You Can Live Without
Have you ever felt hurt by someone you love or respect? I have
Have you ever felt disrespected by a child or partner? I have
Have you felt imposed-upon by a boss who asked you to stay late one too many times? I have
I’m ready to give up these feelings.
My life is so much more satisfying and hopeful when I own my feelings instead of blaming someone else for them. People do bad things and make mistakes. People are responsible and accountable for their behaviors. People are responsible for their feelings. That means that others might do things to us, but they can’t make us feel any particular way. That’s up to us.
If you’re with me so far, then I’d like to introduce you to three irresponsible emotions. Without them, you can live a much more meaningful, rich, purposeful, and accountable life.
Hurt – People can lie to you, betray you, and even physically assault you, but they can’t hurt your feelings.
Disrespected – They can talk back to you, insult you in front of your friends, but only you are in charge of how you see yourself.
Imposed-upon – They can show up unannounced or push your boundaries, but they can’t make you feel imposed-upon. That’s yours to own.
I’m not going to abandon feelings altogether. They are one of the most important parts of being alive and in relationships. They are a barometer of how I’m doing and what’s going on between us.
Instead, I’m committing to authentically expressing and owning the feelings involved in these difficult situations. I am committed to feeling sad, angry, and anxious. Sad because I hoped for a different relationship than we have. Angry because I want us to be aligned in front of our kids. Anxious because I am torn between wanting to please my boss and wanting to honor a promise I made to my son.
Owning our feelings means we re-claim responsibility and take back ownership of our next move.