Similarly, you can’t force specific feelings simply because you believe you’re supposed to. As example, if your aunt trips and sends a platter of marinara-soaked pasta crashing to the tiled kitchen floor, you might believe you should feel badly, while in fact you find it hilarious. Once you have ascertained that no one was injured in the redecorating effort, you’d likely laugh about it.
So, who had control of your emotions in that case? Your aunt? You? I’d venture it’s as much to do with the moment, your personality, and your mood. Some you control, some you can’t, but, in this instance, no other person forced feelings of empathy or humor on you. They might have tried, though. “Why are you laughing? That was not funny!” or, “Someone could have been hurt!” You get the idea.
Sometimes others aren’t trying to force their feelings on you but simply don’t understand your feelings. Sometimes people believe they are saying what they should be saying during a specific circumstance (see above). But saying what you believe you should say can be an entirely different animal than simply saying what you believe.
Not a soul can command that you share in their feelings if you are not of mind to. Remembering that is an important step in owning your life. You’ll experience the entire spectrum of emotions many times over, and often not in a silo. As example, sometimes things might seem so pitiful that you’ve no choice but to laugh. You own your emotions. Be loving (or desirous or angry or empathetic, etc.), because it comes from within you, not because someone demands it of you. Trust in yourself.
Excerpt from Dear You, Live! Love, Life
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