If there is one thing I’ve been learning, and continue to learn, it’s the total misconception of emotions. The prevalent thinking is we feel things as a response to what others may do and say, and it’s uncontrollable. But we also know from scientific studies that our emotions are triggered from past events and teachings in our lives. But what if we could override those things and replace them with new ones? Well, neuroscience has shown that we can with awareness. When you’re aware of a feeling, you then have the choice to keep it or change it. So how do we use this as guidance? I want to touch on a couple of things that may shed some light.
Gratitude and Value: The majority of people are taught at a young age to say “thank you” when they receive something. When taught, they usually don’t understand the emotion of really being grateful, but say it because they’re supposed to. At times, when they get something they really wanted, they do experience that feeling. But the majority of the time it’s just a learned habit. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good habit, but let’s take a look at this a little closer. A child get’s a toy they’ve wanted, they’re really excited and thankful. A short time passes and they’re tired of the toy, it’s broken or lost. For them, it’s value has gone and it’s now time for another. Fast forward to adulthood. How many times have we wanted something, got it, only to be ready for the next thing. True gratitude should be felt. So where does value come in? The extent of our gratitude is related to how much we value of what we receive. I remember as a teen, the first car I got. Being able to get out of the house and just go anywhere was the greatest thing. I valued it tremendously and showed it by taking care of it, washing the outside, keeping the inside spotless. If anything needed to be fixed, I did it. I always kept my cars in primo shape. That’s just an example, it can applied to anything we receive. Now for the flip side. How many of us have gotten raises at work, been happy when we see it in our paychecks a few times, then after a while start thinking about that next one, still unhappy with our pay?
So what is my point? With awareness, we can say “thank you” with feeling by focusing on the value of whatever it is we receive. And by focusing on that, we will continue to receive more of it. There is no question that we are created to expand in all areas of what we define as our lives, but that expansion will only occur when we feel real appreciation and gratitude for what we have instead of contempt for what we don’t have. That is the guidance, when we feel truly grateful, we are headed the right way, when we don’t, we aren’t.