Feeding our negative emotions.
They feed off our thoughts. Our negative emotions want to be fed. Why? Because there is an unfed, an unnourished pain inside of us and the only way we know how to fill it is through feeding it the same garbage that gave it life in the first place. My pain gets fed a healthy dose of negative thinking, unworthiness, self-pity, powerlessness, and victimhood. Others may feed their pain anger, violence, blame, arrogance or whatever satiates it. (Oh, and that’s not to mention the alcohol, drugs or actual food some also use to feed these negative emotions. Just as an addict, we become addicted to our negative emotions.)
Although not easy to admit or even recognize, we do get some sort of pleasure out of continuing self-defeating behaviours because on an intellectual level we know that it is not good for us. Yet, perhaps we just don’t know any other way to relieve our negative emotions and we just feed them the same diet that others have fed it in the past … or how we perceived it to be through a comprehension level of a young child. And we need to feed it. It’s hungry for something, the unresolved pain is just like a hunger pain that needs to be satiated, a hole that needs to be filled.
However when we feed it, we keep it alive, not only alive, but if this becomes our steady diet, we help it grow and it becomes an identity of its own. And then we identify with it. It is us, we think. But it is not! It’s a false self image. An IMAGE. Not real. We keep giving power to it by feeding it and then identifying with it. Giving power to an image – an imaginary monster. If we stop feeding it, it will die. Oh death is scary, isn’t it? So it will cling and fight back with all its might, just as a wounded animal might. It’s called survival instinct.
It is not only the diet of negative thinking and beliefs that fuel these negative emotions, eventually our experiences will feed it too, making the beliefs even truer and that much more powerful. It’s just another form of like attracting like. Our pain is seeking out the same, thus creating experiences that feed it and re-creating experiences very similar to the ones that created those painful emotions.
For me those experiences seem to reinforce that I am inferior, not as good as others, untalented, powerless, will be rejected...
So, how to change it? Find a new way to feed those emotions, I suspect. One that will nourish it, not just satiate it, validate it, make it right. And isn’t that why we keep feeding it? The negative thinking and beliefs validate those feelings, gives them a reason, an understanding. Likely exactly what was missing in the first place.
Maybe it’s like growing a beautiful garden. We need plant the right seeds, feed it the proper nutrients, tend to it daily, prune when needed, and provide it with enough light.
Then we can sit back and appreciate our creation and soak in the beauty of our own garden.