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Moods vs. Emotions

Moods vs. Emotions
Written by
Steve Lauder

There is a world of difference between emotions and moods. Emotions are short lived feelings with a clear subject. You are angry with somebody or sad about something. Moods often last longer and do not necessarily have a clear target. “Mood” refers to a general feeling of pleasure or displeasure, irritation, or anxiety.

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Now, if you keep remembering situations, hurts that happened some time ago, you are pretty much guaranteed to have repressed emotions surrounding the person or situation. You will most probably need to tease out the circumstance out and re-feel the hurt surrounding it. Try to take mental note of the feelings accompanying the hurt carefully since these are most likely causing you much distress and not only mental, but physical distress also. Under all the anger, rage, hate, and hurt is one emotion:

That emotion is fear.

Fear that you will not be able to cope, fear of the unknown, fear that all that once was, and was so comfortable has been lost, (even if unhappiness was present), fear that part of you shall be swallowed up by some unthinkable loss and you shall be at an end. Yet, people that are threatened in truth usually die of old age. I have been threatened many times by things that loomed upon my horizon, and yet that is all they did. Loom. The things that have caused me problems are usually the small and inconsequential things in life, like “Where DID I put those keys?”

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Forgiveness is something that occurs as a result of taking ownership of, and the releasing of emotions. People frequently reach for forgiveness without doing the work required to release emotions of hurt and anger. Forgiveness is a result of an emotional process, and understanding that, (as I am often heard to say), to forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you. There are no short cuts.

Get rid of your regrets. You are what you are on account of what you have experienced. Rightly understood, and accepted, all experiences are good, and the bitter ones best of all. Truthfully, I feel sorry for those who have not suffered.

Yearning for what once was is a common theme that can punctuate your thinking and hence feeling-processes, but this is a subconscious attempt to fan the embers of what once was. What it comes down to is that most suffering is caused by an obstacle in the path of a force. See to it that you are not your own obstacle.

The Gas lamp Principle

I am the proud owner of an old, (and sadly leaky), mobile caravan, and I also, (when time and money permit), enjoy camping under canvas. For those of you that have been camping, it is almost inevitable that you have used one of those camping gas cookers, or maybe a gas lamp. Have you ever noticed that when the cylinder finally runs out of gas there is a sudden flare-up of the flame accompanied by a percussive “whoomp”? It occurred to me that something like this can happen when the fuel runs out of a relationship you once had, and the feelings that accompany this can be quite intense and intrusive.

There may possibly be wishful dreams that intrude and upset you. Yet this is merely the tank of the relationship you once had running dry. Attempts to relight the flame, by shaking the tank may possibly succeed for a brief while, but the end result shall be the same, and accompanied by similar distress. Now there may be an attempt to quickly find a new tank of fuel, but it is far better and wiser to let the appliance cool down first, (as indeed the manufacturers advise). It may well be worthwhile adopting the same advice and applying it when considering embarking on a new relationship.

Regrets

There have been times during the demise of my marriage when I earnestly wished that I had not met, let alone married my, (now ex), wife. However, time heals, the dust settles, and then you can see more clearly. Although financially it has impacted heavily on me, I could not wish for any of my past to be undone, for to change the past would be to have my children cease to be. As a wise man once said, “Until you have found something you would die for, you have not really lived”, and how true that has been to me. Naturally, no-one likes pain. But the best lessons are those learned by the experience that pain reinforces. Personally, what I learned is that as painful as it all was, I would do it all again. Sure, one may have regrets, but they need not be worth writing home about. As for myself, I have forgiven my ex completely. Part of me had to die to do that. I killed it, because feeding it proved too costly. I have now decided that I would not change my past.

There is a story I sometimes like to tell. It is the story of an American Indian, who goes to the medicine man in his tribe, and asks for counsel. He says, “I feel as if there are two wolves in my heart, battling for control of my soul... One of the wolves is vicious, angry and resentful, wishes to destroy and is also sad and unhappy; the other wolf is gentle, calm and forgiving, wishes to build and is joyful and happy”

The medicine man says, “...and what is it you wish to ask me my son?” The man says, “I want to know which wolf will win the battle”, and the medicine man smiles and simply says, “The one you feed”.

It is worth remembering that you are what you think, and not what you think you are. Out of the mouths...

And so, a final story in this month’s communiqué...

My eldest daughter Katie, now thirteen years old, as a three year old used to enjoy playing word games.

I remember one time playing a game of “opposites” with her. It went something like this:

Dad: “What is the opposite of up?”

Katie: “Down”,

Dad: “Very good...so what is the opposite of cold?”

Katie: “Hot”

Dad “Okaa-y then, what then is the opposite of left”

Katie: “Right”

Dad: “Very good... Okay then...what is the opposite of maybe?”

Katie: (Pauses...Smiles broadly), “Maybe not!”

Most adults would not have got that one. We need to on occasions shake off the stiffness of our years, and look at things as would a child. We do so dreadfully limit ourselves in a fixed way of thinking.

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