Feelings Are a Choice

Unfortunately, I’m too tired to say everything I have to say about Black Panther tonight. I think I’m going to put that post off until the weekend when I’m fully rested and better able to articulate exactly what I want to say. Thankfully, I took notes on my phone (after the movie) so I won’t forget anything I wanted to say.

Now, onto the topic of this post. An old boss told me, “Feelings are a choice” a few years ago. Initially, I thought, That’s ridiculous. I said, “That’s not true. If someone stabs me, my initial reaction to that isn’t a choice. If I feel angry, hurt, betrayed, whatever, that’s not a decision I’m making.”

He responded, “No, your initial reaction to something isn’t a choice. Your reaction to something over time is a choice.”

I thought about this. And honestly, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

Now, of course, this only applies within reason. For example, my grief over my grandmother’s death isn’t a choice. I’d prefer to be much happier than I am right now, trust me.

The feelings I’m referring to are hating your job, being annoyed that a friend hasn’t called you in awhile, being bothered/upset you didn’t get that promotion, things of a less severe nature.

I reminded myself of this maxim today. I was feeling down about having to go into the office and wishing I could just stay home and write. As I got out of the car, I thought to myself, Feelings are a choice. I’m going to choose to be positive today.

I walked into the office and was greeted by a smiling co-worker, which felt good. I had a really tasty lunch, which helped me get through the day. A guy in a different department flirted with me, which I found flattering. I always, always, enjoy flirting with someone as long as he’s not repulsive. I ended the day by sharing laughs and jokes with two of my bosses.

I walked out of the office with a smile on my face. I’m going to choose to be positive the rest of the week.

Wish me luck!

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