FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS
Are you hurt about the way someone treated you? Are you angry?
>> Good, what a great place to play and observe! <<
If you hear someone say your name and then you hear them laugh do you think they are laughing at you? And if so how do you react? Hurt? Humiliated? Angry? Are there any other possibilities about what is actually going on?
Even if what you suspect is accurate-are there any other choices of how you could feel?
Here’s an example: You just bought a big house which you happen to love and worked hard your whole life to be able to afford. But, your niece lives in a trailer and is highly resentful of “rich” people. They’re greedy, selfish, and dishonest in her opinion. When she comes to your house she acts as if you have done something to her and to all the people who live in smaller houses.
Your best friend, on the other hand, lives in a small house and would really like to have a bigger house that she loves. When she comes to your house she admires it (though it’s not her style) and is thoroughly delighted.
One of the reasons she’s delighted is that she loves you and is thrilled that you’re getting what you truly enjoy. But, the other reason for her good feelings is that she see’s what’s possible and she now has a much clearer idea of whatshe really wants. Seeing you realize your dream is exciting because it gives her hope that her dream is possible.
We have just one fact (you bought a new house), but two different feelings: resentment and delight. We often think our feelings are facts but they’re not. Two different people can see the same fact and have completely different experiences.
How often are you absolutely certain that your feelings are a fact?
Feelings are a wonderful tool – if used correctly. Used correctly they can help you become more aligned with what you really want. Used correctly they can help you become much more assertive and accurate in your decisions. Used correctly they can diagnose a problem. But, when feelings become facts they are generally a fast track to hell.
How would youlike to feel? What would you have to think to feel that way?