How to be an emotional adult

When we are growing up we are taught about our emotional lives as if we have no control what-so-ever when it comes to ourselves, but ALL the control when it comes to others. For instance, did that person hurt your feelings? Did you hurt their feelings? If you do that, how do you think it will make them feel? You made mommy mad when you did that? etc. This is actually pretty bogus. The truth is, we hurt our own feelings with our own thoughts and other people hurt their feelings with their own thoughts. That’s it.

To be an emotional adult is when we acknowledge that we are responsible for 100% of our own emotions. And we stop thinking we can control everybody else’s emotions.

This is a pretty major departure from how most of us move around in the world. Even if this doesn’t feel like it’s true for you, I’m guessing you can see how it’s true to someone else. Do you know someone who is letting something get to them, they shouldn’t? Someone who is feeling bad about something for a reason that doesn’t make sense to you? These concepts are usually much easier to try on when looking at someone else. Of course.

When we turn over our emotions to everyone in the world beside us, it’s like we wake up in the morning and ask the world how we are going to feel that day. We are at the mercy of the people and circumstances that happen that day. Would you consciously choose this if you knew you had the option? Would you ask your spouse, the news, Facebook or your email how you should feel as you go about your day? Probably not. Yet this is what we do when we don’t consciously own our own emotions.

Where is one area of your life, you think someone or something else is causing your emotions. What if that person or situation didn’t have the power to make you feel the way you are feeling? What might be open to you that’s not open to you now?