Is it possible for a person to feel completely calm and serene while not knowing what to expect from one minute to the next?
The answer is an enthusiastic yes!
Over the past few months we have ALL been living in a state of not knowing what is to come. The underlying difference between people who have maintained their emotional wellness and those who have “seemed” to have lost it ( I strategically write “seemed” because emotional health never actually leaves us) is rooted in people’s different ways of thinking. If you fall into the category of those who have seemed to have lost it, you can rest assured that you are always just one thought away from getting back to the state of security and happiness that all people are born with.
When a person is aware that feeling uncomfortable is simply part of the human experience, they become less judgmental of themselves, and just allow the feeling to pass through them. If we allow feelings to pass (which they always naturally do), then they don’t have to get stuck and spill out in other areas of life.
A Look at a Few Universal Truths About All Human Beings
All people are born emotionally well, with the default settings of happiness, security, and resilience. Nobody has to teach babies how to smile, how to be satisfied with their nutrition, or how to get up again if they tumble.
All people have a full range of feelings, including all the uncomfortable ones such as sadness, frustration, and disappointment.
All people form beliefs about these feelings at some point in life. Beliefs can range from:
True – “It’s so normal to experience intense feelings.” to
False – “Maybe something is wrong with me when I have intense feelings.” to
False – “It’s terrible to experience extremely uncomfortable feelings, and I must do something to stop this.”
Brain #1 and Brain #2
Here’s a sneak peek into the brain of a person who is unaware of their emotional wellness, which they were born with and never left them.
Brain #1: “All this uncertainty is so hard for me. I wish I knew exactly how the school year would look so I can plan my life better. This is so uncomfortable. (True)
I can’t live this way anymore. (False)
In order to live passionately like I always wanted to, I need the circumstances in my life to change.” (False)
This type of thinking can become habitual, which by the way is not a problem! But did you know that unhelpful habitual thought is not what creates a distressed quality of life? It’s simply ENGAGING with those unhelpful thoughts that can lead a person to major distress and despair. So, if your brain has thoughts like the ones mentioned above, your homework here is to increase your awareness that they are just thoughts, and thoughts can’t harm us.
In contrast, here’s a sneak peek into the brain of a person experiencing emotional freedom amidst uncertainty:
Thinking That Allows Emotional Freedom
Brain #2: “All this uncertainty is so hard for me. I wish I knew exactly how the school year would look so I can plan my life better. This is so uncomfortable. It’s okay to have these uncomfortable strong feelings. Actually, it’s such a normal, healthy part of being human. Just as a shot hurts skin with healthy nerve endings, a challenging life experience creates emotional discomfort. I’m so grateful to be healthy. It’s so nice to know that I am one hundred percent okay one hundred percent of the time, even when I am in extreme discomfort. One hundred percent okay just means that no matter what challenge comes my way in life, Hashem already gave me the tools I need to embrace it. Ahhhh – that feels so peaceful. Uncomfortable and peaceful.”
So next time you’d like to move from the thoughts of Brain #1 to those of Brain #2, remind yourself that you can only think one thought at a time, and you get to choose which thought to focus on!