BETTER THAN HAPPY – Episode 242
“Emotional reality: The way that we believe the world is. It’s what we think is just true and what we think is real.”
Four things, listening to the podcast today, that I think we need to understand about emotional reality, before we can look to get leverage over this reality.
I think it’s important to understand and accept that, though that is our emotional reality, it doesn’t fully represent reality. Never. And that is okay. We just need to be ware that our emotional reality does not represent reality.
Even though it doesn’t truly represent reality, we will live and experience the consequences of our own emotional reality. If the world is a horrible place in our own emotional reality, whether or not it is truly a horrible place, we will live in negativity and probably depression and fear. Right? We will experience that reality.
“What’s happening outside of you – reality – isn’t creating your emotional reality. It isn’t the reason for your experience. The way your husband is, and the way your kids are, and the way your bank account is, and the size of your body, being in quarantine – all of those things are not creating your current experience. Your brain is creating your current experience.”
The goal isn’t to be happy all the time. That’s not the goal.
“I think that we have negative emotion to drive us to become more of who we have the potential of becoming, as well as help us contribute more in the world. It’s not to say that we don’t want to work to make things better, and it’s not to say that you wouldn’t want to change a circumstance sometimes that’s challenging to one that’s easier. I’m all for doing all of those things, but we want to do all of that with the background knowledge that we’re going to always have a human brain that’s going to do what human brains do, which is going to be to create some negativity, as it is supposed to.”
Jody uses the anology of a wall – a brick wall with maybe 10-12 bricks.
“So, this emotional reality wall that we have, the bricks are just the way that we think the world is, the way that we think that we are, the way we think we should ‘feel’, or the way that we’re really used to feeling on the regular.
Our brains love familiarity. They like comfort. We like to feel the same way that we’ve always felt because then we can believe that our emotional reality is actual reality, is the truth about the way the world works. Nothing feels scarier to us than to believe that we’re wrong about all of this, and we actually don’t know how the world works at all, and we’ve been misled or tricked in some way. We don’t want to believe that. We want to think that we understand what’s real and what’s true. So, we desperately want that emotional reality wall to be satisfied.”
Take marriage and family, for example. MONDAY MARRIAGE MATTERS, right? I have always believed that marriage was meant to be happy and it was meant to last forever. And, sure, people got divorced, but that was only people who didn’t come from good families or didn’t go to church and didn’t keep their promises, or whatever
And when that brick in my emotional reality wall was challenged by my own good parents, I resisted. My reality couldn’t possibly be wrong. It had been right up to this point in my life, and it had served me well. And when my parents announced their divorce, I honestly didn’t think it would happen. It would work out. Because marriages work out – marriages are forever. I believed in “happily ever after”.
And maybe I want to keep that brick in my wall. And, when I come to accept that my parents’ marriage didn’t work out, it will still not upset my brick wall, because I will find other cases to prove that, though some marriages end, marriages can last forever – and happily.
Does that make sense? We have bricks, and we find examples to validate those emotional realities – those “truths”, as we see them.
Today we are going to just start here. We will work on the “so what” part of it tomorrow. Today we are just going to start with identifying those bricks in my emotional reality wall.
“I want you to just see if you can become aware of what your emotional reality is. If you have an emotional wall with 10 to 12 bricks in it, what are those bricks in that wall? What are the emotions that you live from on the regular? Your brain will always find reasons to fill in the wall with circumstances. We want to identify what those bricks are. We want to take a look at any of them that aren’t serving you, and we want to get to the root cause of them, which is, again, your fundamental core belief system. We don’t need to question anything that’s serving you, but the ones that aren’t, we definitely want to dive into.”
So, what are some of those bricks in my emotional reality wall? Here are a few:
- Marriages are happy and meant to last forever
- Children add to the happiness of a marriage
- Extended family members are difficult to live near
- No matter how much I practice, when I perform, I will always make mistakes
- A mother should be __________________________
- God hears my prayers
- Everything in life is rigged in my favor
Again, some of these bricks I will want to keep. But some of them, even with some work, are going to be very difficult to remove. We are going to get into this some more tomorrow. Tonight, I want to, again, spend some time doing some thoughtwork, defining what other bricks are in my wall, and if the bricks will serve me well, or not.
It’s interesting to think about emotional bricks – and then consider if they are serving us. I think you are a great spouse and I’m glad we are married.