Originally asked by Milla.
There are three rather big parts to your question. So let’s tackle them.
First, let’s tackle the feelings – as it is a little easier to start here. Then we can move on towards disappointments.
The word “negative” next to feelings, is something that our society has created and is not really necessary. Using it next to some of the feelings creates an unfair bias towards feelings such as Anger, Fear and Sadness. Treating them as “negative” by default – makes sure that we try our best to escape those feelings, and when they do come – to pay no attention to them.
In reality, however, these feelings are not “NEGATIVE”. They might feel unpleasant, and you might have a physical sensation that something is wrong or could be wrong, and that would not be an incorrect statement. You see, feelings, whether negative or positive – are tools. They give you data. Think of it as data inputs into your operating system, or if you compare it to running a company – they are your REVENUE, PROFIT, EMPLOYEE TURNOVER & CASH AT HAND.
Let’s play with metaphors for a second here and equate FEAR to REVENUES. If you are the CEO of a company and suddenly your revenue starts falling drastically, do you ignore the situation? Do you sit and cry about it? Do you perhaps stop doing everything and shut yourself in your office waiting for bankruptcy?
If you are a decent CEO, the answer would be a resounding NO! Instead, you would treat the falling revenues as a sign, a data input, that something is not quite working. So, you would adjust. You would either create new products, adjust existing ones, train the team, hire/fire people. You would do something, right?
Well, why do we then treat our feelings any differently? If you experience FEAR, it is a sign for possible danger. Either real or imaginary. It gives you data on how your body and mind works, on your preferences, on what makes you tick and on how to deal with it to make the most efficient YOU possible. All you have to do is to use that data and take action that will help you deal with the feeling. If the threat is real, adjust, make your safe. If you take actions that teach you that the threat is imaginary, you will be less fearful next time. Feelings give you varying data points that simply help you operate and get to know how you function.
Disappointments are similar. They are a result of a combination between feelings and expectations. They usually come about when you have ignored your feelings and built expectations. Expectations are dangerous and useless. There is no way you could possibly know or predict the future and there is nothing you can do about the past. As such – unlike feelings, expectations are a useless tool. Kinda like 100 page business plans. We spend months making them, but they are wrong the second when you finish one. Stop having expectations, start treating ALL of your feelings with respect and interest. Then the disappointments will go away.
Finally, the last part of the question on wallowing. Wallowing is what happens when you give into the feeling, instead of using it as data input. You fall into “in-action”, and you start “victimising” yourself. “I deserve so much better, I am trying so hard, but it is [The bosses fault] [Governments Fault] [Boyfriends Fault]” “There is nothing I can do, I am helpless” “Things never go my way, and I try so hard”
Instead, you should realize that your feelings gave you data, which tells you that you need to take an action toward change and change some aspects of your life. Start with small changes and work towards change. There are absolutely ZERO situations where you can’t change anything. Sure, you can not change the past, but you can change your attitude towards the past and towards the events of the past, that will help you to start making a change in your life right now. Just like when running a company. The past is just data, you have to act in the present.