We humans are funny! We have this deep desire (and often expectation) that because we become aware of something that change will happen right away. Well, in many ways this is true… often just not in the ways we would prefer. It is very real that when we make a small step towards change it ripples into all areas of our life. However, what we really want this to mean is… we want to control the areas and time frame of how the change in created. And that part is where we start to freak out a bit … and it also is when we know change is really occurring.
The logical part of us tells us that if we make a change, things will get better. And the emotional part of us wants to believe that this is a real possibility. We have certain coping mechanisms that keep us safe but not necessarily move us in the directions that we want to go. Hence, we make change. We change our thoughts to something more positive, we stop the actions that keep us stuck… but the emotions.. oh those tricky emotions, they just keep… keeping on.
Why? Why would the emotional part (the main thing we want to change — how we feel about things) stay with us when we have done so well with changing our thoughts and actions? As far as science is concerned, we have yet to figure out how exactly emotions work. To the best of our current understanding, we have control (read: chemical responses we can influence to some degree) over our thoughts and actions. However, we are really unclear on if/how to control emotions.
Sure, we can create situations and invent theories as to why we have emotions and what they mean. But when it comes down to it, we don’t appear thus far to be able to control them. Our actions are the products of our thoughts and our thoughts create a response in us that is what we often call “a feeling.” If all of this is a little confusing, that is totally understandable. It is confusing…. welcome to an emotional response!
Our actions are the chosen physical response to our thoughts and feelings. They are the manifestation of all combined, so it makes sense that consciously we would be able to look at them most directly and make change. Then there are our thoughts which we do have a ton of influence/control over but we rarely consider this fact. Realize that you can be in a perfectly good state of mind and then you find out something and you begin to get anxious and your mood totally changes within and instant. Is this magic? No not at all, your thoughts matter and they can make a situation more stressful/upsetting/joyous. This is often why you hear people say “just slow down and be zen-like”. They are saying essentially that you can take in the information, your thoughts, and actions in a way that creates a more peaceful experience.
So great, we have our actions and thoughts working for us… but the emotions are still flying around. What is the point if I am still going to feel crappy? Here is the good news, it is a process for integration to happen. And it is all happening… For some it can appear like it is over night and others it can seem like forever. But that is part of _your_ process. Your psyche is listening on the deepest level to what you are fully able to deal with at any given time. If your emotions are not in sync with your thoughts and actions yet, it is because it is busy working on it. You can put more pressure on yourself to do it all faster, but the truth is… you only change what you change when you change it.
I can assure you from seeing it time and time again, that the process of growth isn’t always pretty in the midst. But the end result is always beautiful. Without the time needed for all parts of you to fall into place, we would just be dull and move from one thing to another without any place for growth. Hear me out, I’m not saying you have to be patient…. but what I am saying is… trust yourself and your process. Know that the feelings that are coming up are exactly as they need to be, you will handle them with thoughts and actions in a new way and from that change will naturally occur.
It is all happening… I promise… you are just about to get to the good stuff… don’t stop now!