Where do you spend most of your time on this emotional scale? Last year was a tough year and many of us took dreadful knocks. On this scale – the top six are truly the ONLY ones that get us off our buts and out of our own way and put us on the path to achievement.

Perhaps a great exercise for this new year is literally keep a log of how we are handling our days. I do that on a note on my phone. When I realise that I am getting in my own way or that I am stuck in the negative aspect of my life. I keep a log. I literally just make a note of the date, time and the feeling. I do not go back and reread or beat myself up when I have these feelings. I keep a log to see a pattern. Once I have a fairly good amount of data – a pattern will emerge.

Initially I added what I was doing/thinking at the time of remembering to log my feelings so I could identify what triggered me into feeling this way.
I believe that we all experience all of these emotions and I do not believe for a single minute that one should ever deny any of the feelings at all. I am not suggesting that we force feed ourselves positivity – because after trying that for a lengthy time period, I know that denying my negative feelings is as detrimental as reveling in them and habituating myself into that mindset.

Feeling all the feelings and still maintaining equilibrium is the goal.

If we deny our negative feelings they will simply lie dormant inside of us festering away and increasing in toxicity. Sooner or later those pent up negative feelings will explode like a volcano and often over the smallest thing.

When we cover our pain with a veneer of positivity, we are not aware of the underlying pressure build up and the longer we deny the buildup the more volatile the pressure becomes. I know this from experience. Maintaining that veneer of positivity is probably one of the biggest disservices I created for myself believing the “enlightened” BS that If I stay positive my reality will change for the better. Instead, not dealing with my pain was very detrimental to my health, my relationships and my whole life.

Action changes my reality – not feelings.

I believe that it is actually the balance of life to run the gauntlet of all of the emotions. The problem is if one gets stuck. Being stuck can occur at any level – and even if we are stuck in the positive – that positivity can become just as toxic as being stuck in the negative. Hence I keep a log.

I keep log to show me where my life needs work.

If one looses a loved one, it is normal to go into grief. Grief has no time limit and it stands to reason that grief, in the beginning, is literally all consuming and as time goes by the grief begins to abate. That does not mean that tsunami sized waves of grief don’t wash over us from time to time – and this may never end. It is when we remain in the tumultuous waves of the tsunami all the time that a problem begins to occur.

It is, of course, not only grief that can keep us trapped. Any one of these emotions can become deadly. Keeping a log of how I feel and what triggered that feeling has certainly taught me where I have become stuck. If I become habitually angry and resentful, it will show up in my log and eventually I will HAVE to look at the underlying cause of my own unhappiness.

I have been so far down that rabbit hole that I needed clinical help to extricate myself from the hole. Asking for help or acknowledging that there is a problem is a very big deal. Nothing will change unless and until we do. Our world will just continue to become blacker and blacker if we do not.

This becomes particularly difficult for the ones who love us. Our constant focus on our own trapped emotions precludes us from seeing any of the love we are being offered. We may even believe that if someone loves us and gives us attention in a particular WAY, we will begin to feel better. But this is not the case.

What we THINK we need and what is actually wrong with us, are two very different things.

If these negative emotions have had control of us for a great deal of time it may change the actual brain chemistry. And the more we believe that we need XYZ to fix the problem, the more we do not get what we need, the more we fall further down the rabbit hole. Eventually ALL our interactions are about how bad we feel and everyone around us avoids us like the plague and the viscous circle drags us further down.

The log I keep helps bring balance into my life. If shows up my own behavioural patterns – even the positive ones. Because one can indulge someone we care about long after our indulgence becomes an addiction. Once our indulgence becomes our addiction the behaviour of the other does not have to change… Our addiction is helping them, or listening to them, or encouraging them, long after we have noted that nothing we do will change their negative behaviour. But we are addicted and we feel worthy and valuable and we continue with our own addiction irrespective of the harm it does to us.

Take a look at this chart and keep a log for a few days – just to create an awareness of where on the scale you spend most of your time. You will soon enough see if you need an attitude adjustment or not. Just don’t be hard on yourself. It is easy to get stuck and it certainly is NOT easy to extricate oneself from that stuckness.

I love that these tools are available to us – if only we can open ourselves to using them.