Feelings are good. They are instructive, often, and very helpful.
But feelings don’t always tell the truth.
Sometimes, you need your brain to do that.
In my relationship with David, I have probably avoided hundreds or thousands of arguments with just one tactic, and it is this:
I use my brain.
I let myself feel whatever I feel after the thing that annoyed or upset me occurs.
Then I think about it for a while.
First, I ask myself whether what my feelings are telling me about him right then are true. Then, if the answer is yes (which it usually isn’t), I take it one step further:
I ask myself whether it is worth arguing about.
Is it worth the bad feelings we’ll both have if I bring it up? I ask. Is it worth ruining our whole night for?
Maybe, I think, I’ll wait ’till tomorrow to bring it up.
More often than not, though, tomorrow never comes, and I forget all about it, and there is no argument at all. And that is what understanding yourself does for you:
It alters the course of your future.
It is a superpower.
Of course, most likely, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Most of the people I know can diagnose each other’s problems with their relationships, their finances and their negative attitudes very quickly and very accurately—sometimes after knowing the person for only a short time.
So why can’t we all do that more easily with ourselves?
We need to be able to do the same for ourselves.
It’s spirituality for the rest of us.
Eckhart Tolle is awesome. So are Byron Katie and all those Buddhist monks we hear about. Why, then, doesn’t their advice immediately solve all our most pressing spiritual problems?
Why are their results so difficult to replicate?
More Stuff to Read:
Some Spiritual Practices Actually Work. It’s Amazing.
There are hundreds of spiritual techniques for overcoming depression and increasing inner peace. Here, stories about the ones that actually work. (In some posts, I rate the practices on a scale of 1-10, too. Sort of like county fair pumpkins, but more spiritual.)
These Are the Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
Kids, here it is. Have at it.
- Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
- All Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
I’m a Partner, a Mom, a Friend, a Mom, a Sister, a Daughter, a Businessperson and a Mom. Here’s What Helps.
Don’t read this section. It’s nonsense, mostly.
- My Mostly Ridiculous Self-Improvement Journal
- 150 Life Hacks for Getting Suddenly Awesome
- Suddenly Awesome Miscellany (And, Let’s Be Real: Book Promos)