Thursday, June 22, 2017

What do I do with my feelings?

I like watching NCSI.  The particular episode had to do with Tony saving a young boy from a burning building.  The fire collapsed part of the building and he was unable to save the boy's 4 year old sister.  He made a choice.  The boy grew up to become a fire inspector.  He resented Tony for not saving his sister.  The fire inspector had a situation where he couldn't save a witness to some arson fires.  He needed to have Tony point out to him that sometimes we have no choice as what happens to us.  We do choose what we learn from it and where we go from here.  I know the episode and seen the ones following.  The fires were set by a man that lost his son to a far caused by faulty wiring in a Navy ship.  A problem that was known but people made excuses as to why not to repair it.  The father wanted others to suffer as much as he did.  The boy that grew up to be the fire inspector wanted to make a positive difference. 

I can't erase my past.  Even when I forgot most of it, I responded from that pool of hurt and rage.  I didn't understand why I acted the way I did.  I felt crazy, depressed, and unsure what to do about what I was feeling.  I entered counseling.  Took my counselor years teaching me to believe in myself, connect to my feelings and recognize that I decide what to do about how I feel.  I don't deny my feelings but I choose which ones to act on.  I decide if I am going to spread the suffering I experienced or help others find their healing path.

I took the class about bullies last week.  Again the issue is do people make excuses for the bully pointing out their hardships or do we expect bullies to be held accountable for their behavior?  Right now the climate is blame the victim and coddle the perpetrator.  So messed up.  They trot out cliches like , "Hurt people, hurt people."  Excuses such as they had a rough childhood so they hurt others because they are hurting.  BS.  Yup....everyone in the world is hurt by somebody at some time.  This is Earth life on this planet.  Gravity pulls you to the grown.  Splat you are hurt.  A bully knocks you down the victim is hurt.  When you get up do you learn about gravity or blame the Earth for having it in the first place?  Does the victim get blamed or do you look at the situation and see how relationships are repaired? 

One of the definitions of explaining the difference between being human and a bully.  A person hurts someone else accidentally and apologizes and tries not to do it again is being human.  A person that hurts someone else on purpose and doesn't apologize is mean.  A person that hurts someone else and does it again and again and again is a bully.  There is a pattern of abusing others.  They perpetrator gets something out of it and wants that again.  Feelings of power, satisfaction in hurting someone else, and a variety of other feelings remorse not being one of them.  A victim to the bully is the object and the fact they were scared, hurt or embarrassed was the goal.  Bully's behavior is not about the victim.  I wish people would stop rallying around the bully, making excuse but instead set up a plan to change their behavior.  Some will change, others won't, the like it too much. 

I remember several incidences in my life that I was mean to others.  I said things or did things or lashed out.  My main focus in my counseling is to become the person I wanted to be kind, concerned for others, caring, able to control my temper, willing to look for win-win solutions.  That is who I wanted to be.  Accepting my emotions and recognizing which ones I reinforce or act on is 100% up to me.  Yes, I have sent myself to my room because I was not behaving reasonably.  Good.  If my children were acting the way I was they would be sent to their room until they figured out how to address a problem without hurting others.  I still give myself time to feel, process what I feel, and they choose a line of action.  When I do this I am much happier with the out come then when I allow some deep dark emotion take control and act out hurtful thoughts.  Yup, there is nothing like a well placed time out to improve relationships.  I emphasize a time out.  Meaning what I feel needs to be addressed but I want to be in control of how that discussion is going to go.

I am thankful to my counselor that reconnected me with my emotions. Then took many sessions to teach me how to sit with them, process them, and make choices that improve my life.  Living with emotions is a learned skill.  I can practice and get better at making healthy emotional decisions.  What I do with my feelings is my choice.  

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