Keep the feeling, change the thought


A basic tenet I’ve maintained here, is that one’s feelings are largely independent of one’s circumstances; and that one can typically choose how to feel, no matter what one’s circumstances are.

Well, maybe not always.

But for sure, feelings come on that one will not like, that have no relationship to anything that’s happened in the real world.  How to deal with them?

One option is sublimation.

Another is to keep the feeling, but change the thought associated with it.  I’ve been working with this in recent weeks.

Sometimes one becomes angry for no apparent reason; or worse, this desire comes on to become angry; which I call “The Itch,” and is particularly troublesome since I know some people struggle with it a lot, usually giving in and acting on it, seeking — and finding or making — trouble.

Typically getting locked up behind it.

It has become apparent lately that I need to use and own some such feelings, if I am to get where I want to go in life.  To confront and overcome obstacles.  To feel and act, in fact, like a soldier facing an obstacle course — climbing walls, climbing ropes, crawling (as ordered to) through mud.  Figuratively speaking, upward mobility will require me to face obstacles like those.

So I’ve chosen lately to let the feelings stay, and merely change the ideas I’m entertaining in my mind, to focus on prospects where those feelings may be useful.  Thinking about job search, for example.

There’s been an irony about this, thus far.  Thinking about actually having a job, mopping floors, stocking shelves, unloading a truck, running the cash register — is typically so pleasing to me, that my feelings “flip” completely, and I wind up very happy.  I can actually get giddy over it.

“Bad” feelings can have useful — uses — if one chooses one’s thoughts so as to make them so.

Related:  The wandering will

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