Can You Control Your Feelings & Avoid Misery?

A friend told me he felt people created their feelings at least to an extent. For example, say you have a friend who recently broke up with a partner. You’re all at a party and this person starts talking about their ex. “Oh, I miss him…” she says. “Oh, I feel so bad…”

Once a person starts up with this, next thing you know they’re feeling it. They become completely depressed or bereft.

Most people have enough bad feelings as it is. It’s one thing to opt not to feed them when they come, but perhaps even smarter to not create them in the first place.

“I’m going to a party tonight and I’m not going to bring up my ex, even once…”

How often do you create your own feeling state (for good or ill)?  Where is your moon?

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Can You Control Your Feelings & Avoid Misery? — 34 Comments

  1. I used to do that all the time, but in this transformation, that is one of the things I am very conciously trying NOT to do. So I focus on the blessings, and it is making a huge difference. So here’s my question, if I have friend(s) that do that, can I make the suggestion to try what I do, or is that too know it all? It gets to the point I don’t want to hear their dark view of the world because then it creates those same feelings in me and I like the glass half full much better.

  2. I used to do it all the time, too.

    I think if somebody is poisoning your mind with a pervasive negative attitude, it’s a good idea to say something. Sometimes pessimistic people are not aware that their pain can make them incredibly self-absorbed. Now I can see that I was often that way.

  3. 13 years ago I went through a short time when I got divorced from my husband of 22 years (his decision – he left me for another woman), my 15 year old daughter got pregnant and both my ex and I lost our jobs. I felt like my whole world had ended. I could have said “oh poor me” and nobody would have blamed me. For some reason, I chose to say to God, “I want to learn the lesson from this because I never want to do this again”. And I proceeded to grow. I went to college. I began a new career path. I rented out rooms in my home to make ends meet. I welcomed my new grandchild into the world. And now, thirteen years later, I can look back and see that this time was the richest time in my life – a time when I took responsibility for myself without dependence or blame on my parents, my ex-husband, my children. I chose to see the path ahead as a learning experience – a positive one. I honestly feel that choice saved my life. To this day I choose to remain a happy person who faces the challenges life dishes out as stepping stones to something better. In no way did my choice to be happy in the face of what seemed to be complete failure make me vacuous or “unaware of reality”. I just chose to make my own reality. At 58 I have a good job that provides for me with enough to be generous to my family. I own my home. My children are doing well. I have a wonderful man who just came into my life. I am actually looking forward to the next challenge because I see now that is what makes you grow. I do avoid toxic people as much as possible. When I can, I share what has happened to me in hopes they will recognize that they are creating their reality. Some do, some don’t. I refuse to take it personally.

  4. We create our own feeling most of the time.
    I’d say all the time, but I can’t, sometimes i feel awfull and it has nothing to do with my thinking patterns. Maybe I absorve feelings from other people sometimes. Getting away from toxic people is very important. I’ve had to get away from lots of scorpios and scorpio moons, because they tend to love a drama and are very successful in creating them.
    great story Kathy, thanks for sharing.
    Great article bluemarine.

  5. Great story Kathy. THANK you.

    I’m really into this topic now, have been consciously and Capricorn Doggedly changing my responses to the world for the last six months. I no longer allow myself to wallow for more than a day. It’s over. I feel like I remember most of my life with me wallowing in some self-created bullshit or other. I’m so tired of being down, I’m so tired of playing victim to other people’s victimizer. I’ve certainly turned it around on a daily basis, but it is really difficult to deal with negative people now. I really really don’t want to hang out there. I’m 43, can I PLEASE start living now?

    Rant rant rant. My communication skills are suffering, but I feel lots better!

  6. Heather, I don’t think it’s too “know it all”. I think that if you learned something from your experience it’s good to share it with your friends and it may help them – that’s what friedns are for. It might sound a bit condescending to them, but there are ways to say things gently. If you say it from the point of your own personal expereience rather than tell them how you think they should behave or change their attitude, then it wouldn’t sound condescending. You can just tell them you used to do that too and you found that focusing on the blessings really made a huge difference in your life. That won’t sound like a “know it all”, it’s just your personal experience.

    BTW, it’s not right for everyone, so don’t get upset or frustrated if some people don’t take this advice. Like Kathy said, some do and some don’t and it’s not personal.

  7. I’m a fixed sign so I know that I dwell on an issue for a very long time. It takes a while to get there, but once it’s there — watch out.

    But by text book standard, we have 5 stages of grieving: Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression, then finally Acceptance. So I try to understand that angry people are in their process, and I try to find a creative solution to my own situations, too.

    And instead of “creating” our own feelings, was it possible that the feelings were already there and we were just repressing it? We just let it out at an inappropiate time and place where it is considered socially unacceptable?

    The article referred by Bluemarine does work terrific sense. It reminds me of the law of attraction. HAPPINESS IS ME.

  8. I often create my own feeling state. I did it when I was suicidal when I was much younger, and I do it now as a happy, peaceful soul.

    It can be very hard to accept that you can change the way you think. I think some emotional states–like anger–can become addictive. Or at least so habitual there feels like there is no way out.

  9. “And instead of “creating” our own feelings, was it possible that the feelings were already there and we were just repressing it? We just let it out at an inappropiate time and place where it is considered socially unacceptable?”

    This is an excellent point and very true too.

  10. I do create my feelings or try to control my feeling environment but I feel much better when I don’t have the need to and am able to just “be.”

  11. Therapists always told me that I intellectualize my emotions, and I’ve never been able to recognize a thing wrong with that. My super weak emo moon (by conventional cookbook analysis) opposes my super rational, intensely logical mind (again, by cookbook analysis). Others seem to recognize the Mercury more than the Moon in this opposition, but in my perspective, they are integrated. That oppositional relationship IS what is IS, and honestly, I like it.

    I can’t go so far as the teaching of The Secret, et al, but I absolutely believe that the way/path/manner in which we direct our energies has huge influence on how we construct our own realities.

    One of my favorite aspects of Elsa’s blog is how she underscores that our mental framing is crucial to how we experience our feeling states. (Apologies to you, Elsa, if I phrased that poorly or just got the summary wrong.) I must admit that part of my rah-rah response to what she has written in this area is because of my own experiences and interpretations. I am innately a rational mind-feeling feeler all bound up together and I love what the combo affords me.

  12. Good question, Elsa! I’ve learned to decide how I will feel about a given situation and most of the time I can do what I’ve decided without others renting space in my head or heart.

  13. If thoughts feed emotion, then, yes, we DO fuel our emotions. The positive as well as the negative. I believe this to be the case… We choose to think about an issue and can just as well (notice I didn’t say just as easily) choose another line of thought… We just don’t realize it at the time… We are responsible for our thoughts and emotions, not anyone else. Events and people can influence us, but ultimately we are the captains of our own ships… I choose my thoughts these days and try to guide my mind into the things I want to think about, not the negative things that have happened… It helps me to remain level. I’m not always successful, but it has helped me tremendously.

  14. Hats off to Kathy!

    Learning to channel emotion and to deal with the negative stuff is definitely something which gets easier with age, which lends a perspective to what one is feeling and experiencing. I would say however, that people don’t experience things equally – some people do feel more deeply than others. I’d never dismiss a close friend who wanted to talk through his or her emotions (for example a friend recently, aged 42 who lost her husband to cancer two years ago – some think she should have ‘dealt with it’ by now). I also always listen to friend who lost two of her sons, many years ago now. I’m one of few people she sees, who remember them; and she needs to share her memories – and her grief. Sometimes deep emotion comes back seemingly from nowhere, and be overwhelming. I know other people who have taken similar knocks but sail on regardless.

    I do know that surpressing deep emotion in my own case (and it can go on for years) just results in displacement, especially in the form of persistent and highly disturbing dreams. I’ve learned however to stay home if I’m feeling really bad, and not to burden others too much with such feelings. It took me a long time to learn that!

    It was a lesson I especially had to learn when my dog died – she was everything to me. I once explained to a friend it was like having a handicapped child: communication might be limited, and I knew her lifespan was limited… but! When she died, after a week or so almost everyone went into ‘she was only a dog – why not get another’ mode. I’ve never felt so alone – nor so grief-stricken, not even when my father died.

  15. @Blessed Place your fur daughter died, lots of hugs to you. My family, friends and I call our pets OUR children, cos you have to feed, walk and send them to puppy school etc… just like a child.

    @kathy your story is very inspiring at the moment I am going through the same thing you went through all those years ago. I am not blaming anyone but carrying on with life and becoming who I have always wanted to be and thats me.

    So right now I am taking and calling the shots and everyday I am grateful because it is a new day to have a good laugh.

  16. I belive we do create our own drama…yet stopping them is a process and not always so easy. Self acceptance is what works for me. I am in this feeling. Just observe it. Dont suppress dont express… just witness.

    I am a Cancer Sun with Scorpio rising… have a melanchilic temperment. My emotions can overhwlem me and I can definitely seem like I am wallowing. What works for me is someone being sympathtic yet not getting caught in my drama. When people react or judge I just feel worse. I notice with others(when they are wallowing) that if I just use active istening skills (…”sounds lke you are feeling…”) I find they often go quiet.Or tears come..which is good (I think)

    We often just need compassion and not judgement. And if someone wants to go on and on (or if I am caught in that) then I can be honest (or you can be) abnd just say I am so sorry but I find I am swtiching off now and cant do you justice…. Can we shift to something else? Compassion works wonders.

  17. “I’m a fixed sign so I know that I dwell on an issue for a very long time. It takes a while to get there, but once it’s there — watch out.”

    Yeah, I’d second that.

    On the one hand, when I am in a bad mood (which I was on Saturday big time), I go try to distract myself out of it. I’m a big fan of that.

    On the other hand, I will beat myself up mercilessly for my failures, especially stuff I have been trying to figure out for years on end and get nowhere about. Sorry, but giving myself snuggles and love isn’t going to kick my ass, is it? And clearly the ass needs some very painful kicks.

  18. @ sunnysadge – thanks for understanding!

    raven said: “I notice with others(when they are wallowing) that if I just use active listening skills (…”sounds like you are feeling…”) I find they often go quiet.Or tears come..which is good (I think)”

    Quite – I think if people are TRULY listened to in that state, and can talk through things and feel they have been understood, then it does help work through and out the other side of the tunnel of grief, whether it’s over a relationship or anything else. So much of this kind of wallowing is ‘feeling alone’.

    Having said all that, I know some of us do come the ‘drama queen’ and lay our problems on other people…!! I used to do it a lot but thank the Goddess I’ve grown out of it! Sometimes however what is manifesting is the outward sign of true depression, so bracing words might just push the sufferer further down into the spiral. It’s a tough one to gauge, and knowing the person well is a help of course, in judging how to react

  19. Cancer Moon.

    I believe in feelings.

    And I believe in creating them, acknowledging them, and expressing them.

    Good ones and bad ones.

    I think feelings serve a purpose, and are healthy.

    Creating, acknowledging and expressing feelings is one thing though. Wallowing and/or crushing other people with them is another.

    There is a right time, manner and place to handle feelings.

    It took me a long time to learn that last part.

    I’m still working on it.

    But I definitely refuse to “not create”, “not acknowledge”, “not express” my feelings — to myself or others.

    Also, I value people who are adept at sharing theirs in a ~healthy~ way. I stay clear of people “with no feelings” or who express only their “good feelings”. I want to deal with full human beings, not sanitized ones (like manicured lawns).

  20. I do not like to bring out any morbid or morose feelings when I am out in public….I bear my feelings privately and like Mariana…I have to move when I catch myself getting too down about anything….I listen to music, dance, walk, go out……

    Strawberry Fields, I have a couple of Cancer friends and I don’t mind them telling me about their feelings, but I have a LIbra moon and so peace is essential for my state of mind. Sometimes, I have had to lock myself away because I can’t take too much of the bad feeling side….got to balance it out with some good stuff too. So, I concur.

  21. I do that all the time, not when talking to friends though, it’s more when I’m on my own.
    Moon in Pisces, but I believe this has more to do with my Scorpio Sun ego hurt

  22. Hey denamaria…

    I have Libra Sun (fairness) and Cancer Moon (emotions like the tide). So you can imagine the two at play: Libra Sun (and Mars-Merc-NN) absolutely must give Cancer Moon a fair hearing! 😀

    But you’re right… Libra stellium wants it all to have a peaceful and harmonious outcome! 🙂

  23. I have Moon conjunct Mars and square to Saturn. I can definitely make myself miserable to the point of psychosomatic illness so I had to learn how to consciously not identify with fleeting emotions. We are not our thoughts or our feelings –those are merely messages being communicated with us as to the our state of being.

    For example:

    Am I (speaking to my moon in Gemini) feeling sad for this moment? Yes. Is that something I have to resolve and get through on this journey of life? Yes.
    But does that necessarily mean that I’m a sad person as well? No.

  24. I’m not sure I can control my feelings, or not all of them. I’m thinking of sadness. Sometimes it pops up and I feel that I have to “study” it somehow, and not just push it away. But I don’t wallow in it either. Or maybe that’s what you mean by controling feelings.
    I don’t like to create or nurture feelings, like anger. I don’t like anger at all. I try to handle that, look at it and then move on if there’s nothing I can do about the cause. I know that if I don’t move away from it, it’ll make me sick. It’s taken me time to arrive at this – and doesn’t always work!
    I listen to other people talk about their feelings/problems, I think they need someone to talk to. But don’t share mine too much, perhaps b/c my Aqua Moon?

  25. I’m really good in rationalizing my emotions. Moon in a quincunx with Mercury. This is the most exact aspect of my natal chart. Since the time, when I found a good explanation of this aspect, I try to use the aspect less this way and instead make more use of my trine between Moon and Mars. Before I tried to explain any feelings away if I was asked how I feel. The question made me somehow feel attacked. Perhaps because my Moon is also square Pluto. Now I show first that I’m now willing to protect my emotional self, then the question can be answered. If I feel like answering.
    .
    Some psychology texts distinguish between feelings and emotions. They use different definitions or even other words in order to distinguish the two types, so that it is quite confusing. I understood the difference because of the explanation somewhere in Carlos Castañeda’s books. There is a type of feelings, which are there BEFORE you think about something. There is another type of feelings, which only occur AFTER you think about something. The latter type is self-produced and weakening and tried to extinguish in various spiritual ways, where such practice is called mental hygiene.

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