Over the past year I’ve developed increasing control over my emotions coupled with complete shifts in my perspective on what emotion is and how to interpret it accurately. I’ve also changed much of my view on life in general and how to evaluate different matters more appropriately. These mutual shifts has resulted in something very interesting. For example, let’s say that due to a changing perspective and increased control over my emotions, I’ve grown more confident in my abilities. This boosted confidence along with the realization that certain actions or events aren’t as important or critical as previously thought, means that the value of my confidence is actually worth more. So not only am I more confident in myself, but that confidence goes further than before. In mathematical terms, it would be like A(confidence) – [B (required confidence) / 2 ] = total confidence, where previously it would have been A(confidence) – B (required confidence) = total confidence. Input A=100 and B=50 results in: 75 confidence rating in equation 1 and 50 confidence in equation 2. But even with this increasing control and fresh perspectives on life, I still find myself victim of occasional emotional experiences which are primarily negative and seemingly inescapable. Today was one of those days.
The day started with a stiff neck and slight headache which immediately set the stage for the rest of the day. After a quick breakfast and my morning routine, I realized I needed to quickly rearrange the office area so we could repaint the walls. This slight disturbance to my daily routine started the spiral of increasing negative energy. I soon found myself hot and sweaty, quickly bustling about a crowded and messy room. As the day moved on with continual distractions I also got pushed into repairing my truck rather than bringing it into the auto repair garage. This made me immediately uncomfortable because I am I completely inexperienced in this field and a job which was originally quoted to be an easy fix, suddenly hit snags. Oh, and did I mention that it’s a rainy and cool day which appears to be affecting my energy levels and interrupted our repair progress?
Ideally when encountering situations of petty frustrations it is advisable to escape for a quick 15 minute meditation. This can immediately restore your mental faculties and regain control over spiraling emotions. But unfortunately I was unable to find the time. Finally I managed to get away and found myself walking to the YMCA analyzing my behavior. I’ve achieved mental states with immense control over my emotions with deeply enlightened viewpoints that bring me to virtually untouchable locations (psychological invulnerability). And it struck me that my knowledge of these mindsets should simply be reason enough to access them. It’s not that I have to find the exact mindset (ex. a calm, serene feeling of control), but rather the realization that one exists at all should simply bring me there. And this thought did help and I found myself returning to a rational mindset with more control over my emotions, but it wasn’t enough and I couldn’t definitively attribute the change to that factor. Perhaps just getting away and walking to the YMCA was enough.
This analysis brings up another interesting point I’ve previously discussed about living in the moment. We only ever exist right now and can only ever utilize the systems current variables. You cannot access or change anything else. Thus it’s important to recognize the futility of emotional involvement in most activities. Regretting decisions or becoming angry about mistakes solves nothing. Instead you should reassess the situation, make calculations, choose the best decision to move forward with, and take action. For often, if not always, you will do this in time anyway, so you might as well begin now. This sort of thinking can allow you to catch your emotional self and say, “hey, calm down, your reaction to this solves nothing, make the best decision and move on.” And 99% of the time this works, but on days like today it somehow escapes me.
And that’s the point I wanted to share today. Even with powerful control over your emotions, there are still situations and chains of events that can trick your mind into becoming emotionally involved. And it should raise a serious red flag for you to realize that if petty things can push your buttons, then in truly serious situations where you desperately need your mental faculties, you will most likely break down. Take for instance the Boston Marathon bombing. Detonation occurs, and in your fantasies you run towards it to help with the injured, but in reality you run scared, your brain dictating your next move because self-preservation is too difficult to break. This is why it is so important to meditate on who you are and what is really going on inside your mind. It is almost always different than what you anticipate.
Lastly, I want to mention petty manipulation which, through my personal analysis, has become apparent to me. I think there is a part of me that almost enjoys feeling unhappy. I get some sense of self-pity out of it and thus my mind moves there. This is nothing but weakness and should remedied. Another reason I remain in negative states is to “punish” those that put me there. By acting negative or unhappy, I guilt other people into feeling sorry that they did something to upset me or pity me themselves. And on top of this, the idea of controlling myself and remaining happy and content won’t get the point across to those people. They won’t realize they messed up or pissed me off or should feel bad for me and thus I must appear negative. This is a very basic manipulative technique that seems naturally learned. Another simple weakness I will now assess and repair.