one of my biggest emotional challenges in life is to not let you control my happiness. not let how you are feeling, determine how i will feel. i have a really bad habit of absorbing other people’s energy, and making it my own. so if a co-worker, or friend, or lover is angry, sad, defeated, hurt, etc., and i am in their presence, my mood can change in an instant. i can go from giggly and happy, to very serious and dark in no time at all. i turn my power over to others when i let them control my happiness and my emotional behavior….based on their own happiness and emotional behavior.
the other way i donate my power to others is by being so concerned with how you feel about me. i’m an alcoholic, and like many alcoholics, i am a major people pleaser. i’ve improved, but i still have this pleasing need in me. if i feel like you are mad at me or upset at me for some reason, the thought will consume me. it will affect every molecule in my body. and i become miserable until the situation is sorted out, or until i find out that i am actually not the cause of your disappointment or anger. most of the time i haven’t actually done anything that i am aware of to piss anyone off, but because you might be acting “off” today, and not so friendly, happy, or the like, i will assume you are mad at me. it’s really selfish and self-centered thinking. again..the alcoholic mind. it is not all about me. i do not affected your life. why would i even think i had such power? crazy ego-based thinking. hey, at least i can recognize it nowadays.
why is it so hard for me to just control my own happiness and my own emotional behavior? and not hand it over to you? I’ll tell you why….at least in part…..it’s because of the underlying fear of rejection, abandonment, and dislike from others. this goes way back into childhood and my experiences as a youngster. without going into a long drawn out story, i will leave it at this….kids were cruel and tossed a lot of rejection my way. some psychologists might also blame this fear of rejection on the fact that i was given up for adoption as a baby. i question that. but i don’t discount it entirely. with that said, i simply don’t want you to reject me as a human being and toss me aside. so i don’t want you to have any ill feelings towards me. and if i feel you might, it consumes me…it’s a vicious cycle. and it’s no fun. and really, handing you the responsibility of my own happiness is just not cool.
but this behavior of mine is manageable.
it’s manageable now because i recognize this life long pattern when it begins to creep up on me. i talk about it (or write about it). and since i can feel it coming on, i have the ability to stop the insanity from progressing and ruining the beautiful day ahead of me. of course, sometimes my self-centered and generally false beliefs still gets the best of me and i have trouble getting out of my own misery. but more times than not, i am able to dig myself out before it’s too late.
basically, i am becoming more and more autonomous. it’s that simple. im letting you off the hook, my friends.
i am the only one in control of my happiness and my emotional behavior. maybe i should tattoo that on my forehead.