I often ask participants in my Life Skills class this question: “If you fell off of a ship in the middle of the ocean, which animal/mammal would you like to show up?” The overwhelming majority say that they would like a dolphin to show up. When I ask why, they say that the dolphin will take them to safety.
Why do I ask such a question? Mainly because I think people remember better through analogies. I liken emotions to dolphins. If you ride them out, you will eventually arrive safely back to a healthy state of mind. And arrive much quicker than if you fought them.
Many of us fight our emotions and this only tends to make things worse. Secondary emotions often appear to complicate the situation. Fighting your emotions is like fighting a dolphin who has come to save you. Emotions are neither good nor bad. They are just indicators of the quality of our thinking, and they are a gift given to us so that we can, if we choose, go back and look at the thoughts that caused the emotion in the first place. The thoughts are the cause of our feeling. They are the culprits, not the emotions that the thought cause.
When I find my Self caught up in some unpleasant emotion, I find it helpful to, first, remember that it was my own thinking that caused the emotion. Second, since my thoughts caused the emotion, if I don’t like the emotion, I can stop focusing on the thoughts that created it.
It is never what someone else says or does that causes us to feel the way we do, it is what we “think” about what they did or said.
If you want to find out why we feel and act the way you do, look at your belief system. That is where the answer lies.
So if you find your Self caught up in some unpleasant emotion, RIDE THE DOLPHIN. Focus on the feeling (ride it out) and it will go away. Focus on the thought that created the feeling, and it will grow!