Episode 73 Circumstances are Neutral
Welcome to the podcast, loving On Purpose. I'm your host, Bonnie Lyman. If you're having trouble navigating through your relationships with your adult children, if you are struggling to connect with them or having specific challenges, you're in the right place. I'm Bonnie Lyman, and this is episode 73.
Circumstances are neutral. Welcome everybody. I'm so glad you're back listening to another episode on my podcast. Loving On Purpose. My intent is to give you new insights into what is causing you to have. Any kind of negative emotions, have any kind of emotions at all of what causes our feelings. The better we can understand this, the better we can.
Have a more functioning emotional life, a healthier emotional life. And as has been spoken before, there's opposition in all things. So there has to be the hard times as well as the good times, or it would just all kind of be the same and really kind of boring. So, Today I'm going to talk about that.
Circumstances are neutral. And what I mean by that is the circumstances is what is happening in our lives. It's the facts. It's what somebody actually says to us. It's what's going on in the world. It's the weather. It's something that happened in our past. It is something someone actually said. So, A lot of times we get circumstances and thoughts mixed up, but the circumstances are kind of the bo boring description of what's going on in our life when we add meaning, interpretation, perspective to.
Those things that are happening in our life, those are opinions or thoughts that we have. So when I say circumstances are neutral, circumstances don't cause us to have feelings. They don't cause us to feel a certain way. But we were raised thinking that when another child, as a child takes a toy, Away from me that it's, they're taking the toy away from me, that is making me upset.
Now, a little child can't process this and we don't try to help them understand that. But really it's what we're making it mean. And in this case, it's kind of like they shouldn't be taking that toy away from me, especially not just grabbing it. So it's those thoughts that cause us to feel upset. So I am someone who helps people.
Every day improve their lives. And so one of the things that I try to teach people or get them to see for themselves is a simple idea, as I stated before, that the circumstances of our lives, what's happening in our lives, does not make us feel a certain way. It's our thoughts about what's happening in our lives that cause us to have a certain feeling or emotion.
We can't control the circumstances. Most of the time, we can change our circumstance as if you lived in a place where it rained all the time. And you didn't like that, but it was your thoughts about the rain that would cause you to have maybe a negative feeling about it, but you couldn't move in.
Instead of just changing your thoughts, you changed the circumstance. But we don't have control over the weather. But say you decided no moving is not an option. We can, with some work and with some guidance, we can control how we think about the weather. So bottom line, we can't control our circumstances.
And we can control our thoughts about the circumstances. So that means we have the power to feel any way we want to feel. Let's say about the rainy weather, I. And so the other thing that we can prove why circumstances don't cause us to feel a certain way. If it was the rain that that caused me to feel kind of down, then everyone would feel down and gloomy when it rained.
So again, circumstances are the things that happen in our lives. It's the past, it's world events, it's the weather. It's what people say or do to us or don't say or don't do. Circumstances don't have the power to make us feel either happy or sad. For example, like I talked about, the rain, if it's raining outside, the rain itself doesn't make us feel gloomy.
It's how we think about the rain that determines our emotions. So when it rains in the summer here, I maybe feel a little bit gloomy because I want it to be sun shinny and warm every day.
The farmers who do drive farming, they love it when it rains because they're dependent upon that rain to grow their crops. Circumstances are just fat. They're the boring part of describing what's going on in our life. It's when we add meaning to that circumstance, we have thoughts about that circumstance.
We start using adjectives then. It becomes a little more interesting, but that is also just an opinion. So it's not the circumstances, it's not what's happening in our life. It's not the weather. It's not what one of our adult children says to us that causes us to feel bad. It's the thought. About the weather or what they said that that causes us perhaps to feel sad.
This sounds like a, a pretty simple concept to understand, but. We, we can believe it and we can understand it, but it, when it comes to real personal things like difficult relationships with our adult children, it's harder to see why. We can still be able to love our children and have a good relationship and not take things so personally.
If we know that it's our thoughts that are causing this and maybe what they actually did or didn't do. Knowing that our thoughts cause us to feel a certain way, gives us power over all our emotions, we may not be able to control or to change how our children act toward us. But we can control how we think about it.
And this means that we have the ability to choose how we want to feel because it's our thoughts that cause us to have a certain feeling. So for example, Let's say one of your adult children criticizes you, the criticism itself, what they actually said, and so the circumstance would have to be like a quote.
My son said, you never do anything right. That is a circumstance. Those actual words cannot make us feel anything. It's our interpretation of that quote, those words that causes us to maybe feel unappreciated, unloved, so, It's the thought that when they say you never do anything right, that we interpret that as they don't appreciate anything I've ever done for them.
That thought causes us to feel unloved or unappreciated. But if we change the thought, let's just say we just went to curiosity. I wonder why they would say something like that. Then we may have the feeling of just kind of feeling indifferent. We're not feeling love or in loved, but we're, we're not feeling anything negative.
Another example is I used to get around my son or every time he got around me at a, say a family gathering. I know I've used this example a lot, but he would, he would just not say anything to me at all. He wouldn't acknowledge me when he came in the door. He wouldn't ask me any questions. He wouldn't make any hold any kind of conversation with me, and so I started having the thought.
I think I repulsed him, and when I had that thought, I felt horrible. That was not a feeling I wanted to have, and so I decided that I didn't wanna feel miserable and horrible anymore when I was around him, and so I changed my thought to, he loves me, he just doesn't know how to show it. And then I just felt peace and and content, and I was just able to accept his behavior, realizing that circumstances are neutral.
And it's our thoughts that cause our feelings is so freeing. I am no longer dependent upon my son's actions to feel the feeling I want to feel, which is peace and also a love for him. So if su circumstances don't cause our feelings, that means that we are not at the mercy or we're not helpless to external events.
If we can take control of how we think about things, we have a much better emotional life. By being mindful, paying attention to our thoughts, be aware of the thoughts we are having. When we are having a negative feeling, we then can take. The power and we have control over to choose thoughts that make us feel good.
And so that also means that we look at things from a different perspective. We see things when we think different thoughts. This helps us feel better in general, and we can grow as a person, maybe even learn. We are open to the criticism. Maybe whatever I'm being criticized about is something I need to work on.
Because we're not making it mean anything personal about us to sum it up, circumstances do not make us feel a certain way. It's our thoughts about that circumstance that causes us. To feel a certain way, and we were born with the capacity and the power. If we will just decide to choose our thoughts according, that will cause us to feel the way we want to feel.
It can make a huge difference in the quality of life that we live. It is so freeing to know that I can feel any way I want to feel in any circumstance just by choosing. My thoughts because we are human. We are not going to be perfect at this all of the time, but it is a huge advancement in gaining.
A more stable, emotionally healthy life when we know where the true cause of our feelings come from. And it's not what's happening in our lives, but it all comes from the thoughts that we have about those happenings. I hope this helps you. I hope you have a great week. I hope if you feel that somebody else could benefit from learning this, that they can have control over how they want to feel.
About their life and the things that are going on in their life that you will share it with them. I hope you have a great week, and I can't wait to talk to you next week.
If you like this, be this episode and you felt it was of benefit to you, I ask you to share it with somebody that perhaps it could also benefit. But if you're still feeling kind of stuck in that you don't know how to apply what was talked about, Or where to start on, on changing your thoughts, on changing your perspective, on bettering your relationship.
Get on a call with me and we can have a discussion and I can tell you how to apply it and where we start. And then you get to decide what you want to do about this relationship that maybe you're struggling with with your adult children. There is no reason to go on the rest of our lives struggling with our relationships with our adult children.
Let's assume the best. Let's assume that we all love each other. And we're just trying to figure out how to maintain our own boundaries and respect another ones, but I can help you with everything. So just go to bonnie lyman.com and book a call. I can't wait to hear from you.