Who Owns Your Feelings?
Like most people, I used to believe that others had the power to “make me” feel a certain way, and it was a revelation to learn this is not so. And like most people, I resisted the idea at first. largely, I think, because it’s so easy to blame someone else for my feelings! Casting the blame elsewhere, however, comes at a huge price.
Nobody is responsible for your feelings but you.
Here are some life-changing insights by author and teacher Jeff Foster:
Nobody else is responsible for your feelings. This realization can end the blame game once and for all,
and leave you standing in your true place of power – the present moment.
The energies alive in your body right now were not ‘caused’ by anyone else,
and nobody else can take them away.
Yes, others may trigger latent pain and sorrow and disappointment in you,
they may contribute to the field in which your old, unresolved pain can resurface,
but they cannot make you feel how you feel.
Nobody can make you happy, nobody can make you unhappy.
You are only invited, constantly, to meet what remains unmet in yourself,
to touch what you never wanted to touch, to explore the field.
Making others responsible for how we feel is the beginning of all violence, both internal and external,
all conflict between people, and ultimately all wars between nations.
Let others off the hook. Honour what is alive in you right now.
Learn to hold your own feelings like beloved children,
however intensely they burn and scream for attention.
Celebrate the aliveness in your hurt, the vibrancy of your disappointment, and the electricity of your
sadness. Kneel before the power in your anger, honour its burning creativity.
From this place of deep acceptance, you do not become weak and passive. Quite the opposite. You
simply enter the world from a place of non-violence, and therefore immense creative power,
and you are open to the possibility of deep listening, honest dialogue, and unexpected change.
My encouragement to you in the coming weeks is to pay attention to how you talk/think about your feelings. If you notice yourself thinking or saying, “So and so (or such and such) made me feel a certain way,” stop. Remember that these are your feelings and you get to choose. Instead of putting the blame “out there,” simply ask: “Is love available even here?” Remember to be gentle and tender with yourself. If the feelings are painful, they are simply old wounds emerging to be healed. As Jeff Foster writes above, “treat them as beloved children.”
As he says, “In suffering you become small. In love, anything is possible.”
With love and gratitude,
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