Before electric lights and heaters, the long, cold dark of winter practically knit itself into endlessness at winter solstice. People had to face the dark with fear or with faith. Winter holy days began being celebrated to bolster our faith in the darkest part of the year, and celebrate the return of the light. This holiday season, celebrate the return of lightness to your heart!
Fear and faith cannot exist at the same moment because one supplants the other. So which one do you choose on the regular?
Whichever one you have practiced becomes the vibration that comes naturally. One reason people seek a life coach is because they have been living in a vibration of fear for the most part, and are ready to trade that vibration for one that feels better. Worry, doubt, judgement, overwhelm, anxiety, perfectionism, control issues, resentment. All of these stem from fear.
I am NOT saying that there is anything wrong with these feelings. All of them are completely normal for human beings. What I am saying is that when people experience more of these fear-based emotions than faith-based emotions, it feels pretty crummy. Some people decide they WANT to feel better than crummy. Some people get overwhelmed by the slew of negative emotions that keep attracting more fear-based thoughts that bring more icky-feeling emotions.
It is NOT my job (nor my desire) as a coach to tell people that they shouldn’t be having these emotions – quite the contrary! Emotions are our internal guidance system like our GPS and exist to give us a signal. All emotions are valid human experiences. No emotion is “bad.” It is simply a signal. Emotions signal to us how we are thinking. When we think thoughts that do not serve us, and drain our energy – we get a signal in the form of negative emotion. The signal simply says, “you are having thoughts that drain your energy.” What a person chooses to DO with that signal (emotion) is completely up to them.
Some people beat themselves up for experiencing negative emotions because they have gotten the idea somehow that negative emotions are bad, and by extension, they are bad for having them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
You are not your emotions.
If you feel angry about something – NORMAL! If you feel sad about something – NORMAL! As a life coach, I never try to talk anyone out of experiencing an emotion. I’m not asking clients to act happy when they do not feel happy. Coaching is not about ignoring bad-feeling emotions or squashing them down, or sweeping them under the rug, or pretending you don’t have them. Own your emotions! If you feel sad, it’s totally fine (and healthy) to admit it. Say it out loud. “I feel sad.” “I feel angry.” If you are a human being, then it’s understandable that you WILL experience these emotions sometimes.
The emotions that come up for a person are the emotions that come up. We cannot control our emotions. But it is incredibly important to learn how to MANAGE our emotions if we want to exist with other human beings who also have emotions. Again, this does NOT mean denying the emotion or burying it so as not to ruffle someone’s feathers, because THEIR emotions are THEIR job to manage, and NOT your responsibility.
Managing our emotions means that we allow ourselves to feel the emotion, but we don’t allow our emotions to define us or to spill over onto others. For example: Experiencing sadness is completely normal & healthy for humans. Being sad, or becoming sadness, or letting sadness “be” who you are is not normal & healthy. If someone gets to a point where they feel sadness is a defining characteristic of their life, it will be very helpful to explore this with a therapist or counselor.
Letting the emotions spill over onto others is also a sign that the emotion is taking over, and not being managed. In other words feeling angry is a normal part of life. Yelling at others because you feel angry is not. It means the anger is controlling you, and not the other way round. Again, it will be very helpful to explore this with a therapist or counselor.
Now, some people are going to think that it’s OK to yell at someone if they “made me angry.” While it may appear that way on the surface, that’s not really what happened.
When someone says or does something, that something is NOT causing your anger. The “something” is neutral until you assign it meaning. And here’s the really cool thing – you can assign any meaning you want! The way that we assign meaning is by telling ourselves a story about the “something.”
For example: You spot a friend on a busy street and wave. You are sure she saw you but she did not wave back.
What does this mean? Nothing. But usually the mind will create a story to give it meaning. And the type of meaning assigned is going to be based on the kinds of thoughts you think on a regular basis.
If someone tends to have a lot of negative (fear-based) thoughts about others, or (fear-based) thoughts of inadequacy about themselves, the story the mind tells might be something like one of these: “Well she was rude! How dare she ignore me!” “I know she saw me, why didn’t she wave? Maybe she’s not really my friend or maybe she heard about what happened the other day!” “What if she doesn’t like me anymore?” “Well she’s obviously not my friend. I guess I can delete her number.”
If someone tends toward more positive (faith-based) thoughts, the story the mind tells might be something more like one of these: “Wow she must have been really distracted to not even see me here!” “We’ll have a good laugh next time we talk when I tell her I saw her but she didn’t see me!”
Nothing has meaning until the human brain attaches a story to it, so pick your stories wisely so instead of depleting your energy, and leaving you full of fear or worry, they add value to your life & build your faith!
Fear-based thoughts drain energy. Faith-based thoughts boost your energy, or at least don’t diminish your energy. And you get to choose! If you tend toward a habit of fear-based thinking, you may find your energy depleted a LOT.
It takes practice to retrain your brain, but reclaiming your energy is worth the try!
What fear-based thoughts are you entertaining?
How do they affect your energy?
What faith-based thoughts come easily?
What affect do these have on your energy?
What will change for you when you shift to more faith-based thinking?