2. How can we cope more effectively with the conditions we deal with on a daily basis? and 3. How can we stay resourceful when the world around us threatens to overwhelm us?
Virginia Satir, a pioneer in family therapy made the assertion that our problems are not our problems. Our problem is how we cope with our problems. She also said that every resource we need to effectively deal with our problems is within us waiting for us to access them. Have you ever noticed how, for no apparent reason, you feel happy, or grateful, or optimistic and at other times feel unhappy, disappointed, and pessimistic about your life even though nothing in particular happened to bring these feelings about? Our feelings arise from within us due to conditions we are not always aware of but that nevertheless change how we feel.
We can be in the middle of a party and feel completely alone and we can be sitting on a log watching the sunset and feel connected with everyone and everything in the universe. Our feelings don’t come from the outside in they come from the inside out.
The next time you are feeling something pay attention to what is going on on the inside. What are you thinking? What is the story you are telling yourself at this moment? How are you interpreting your reality to bring this particular feeling to life? Are you feeling grateful, appreciative, centered, or are you feeling anxious about the imaginary future you are creating in your mind and trying to anticipate all the difficulties you may have to face in this imaginary future?
Our stories create our feelings. To get a different feeling we need to identify the way we are interpreting our present situation. We have the power to change our feelings by changing the stories we are telling ourselves about what the conditions of our life mean to us. This is how we can convert a crisis into an opportunity, and a set back into a new start. We have the power to choose how we interpret our life and the interpretation we choose will determine the feelings we experience.