NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR THINKING AND FEELING
(“How would I like to feel?”)
When I have succeeded in letting go of my negative emotions, only then can I replace them with something else. I have the ability to choose whatever it is I want to feel because I am in charge of my emotions; but I must first make room for the positive emotions by letting the negative ones go. Just as I can let go of a negative experience, so can I create or let in a positive experience. I can invite peace and happiness as easily as I can hold on to pain and misery.
Your negative feelings are not your inheritance. You did not come into this world depressed and fearful. You only learned these feelings out of certain experiences and relationships with others. Your negative thoughts and feelings were justified given the reality of the conditions in which you felt them. You could not feel any different than what you felt. The only problem is that you did not know what to do with them and because you did not know what to do with them, you held on to them and began to believe them as your true self. This was the beginning of the formation of your ego, your self-image.
Your ego self is not your true self. Your ego self is something that you maintain to hide your true self. And you only hide your true self because you believe that your true self is something unacceptable. For what other reason would you pretend that you are something you are not? Your ego self says, “If people really knew me then.” and then fill in the blank with a hundred different conclusions about how you imagine someone would think of you if they really knew you. When you succeed in letting go of your negative emotions, you will gradually discover that this true self is not what you think it is. In fact, your true self has nothing to do with thought at all. Your true self is a reflection of your own peace of mind.
Take a moment to reflect once again on the various areas of your life and consider the positive emotions you would like to feel in each of those areas. On the next page is a list of positive emotions. Take each area of your life one at a time and check off the positive emotions that you would like to feel in each of those areas. Photocopy the pages for as many of the areas as you choose. You may already feel some of these emotions in some areas of your life. If you do, go ahead and check off the ones that you already feel.
You will eventually discover that your natural inheritance is happiness and joy. You want to feel these feelings because they connect to your true self. They are familiar to you on some level but you have lost your connection with them because you have replaced them with your ego self. Now, you are returning to that which is you as you let go of that which you are not.
Go to the next journaling exercise: Reversing Core Beliefs
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*Journaling exercises written by Cort Curtis, Ph.D, used with permission.