Chauffeured by Chaos

One of life’s great mysteries is why it’s so easy to get out of a good mood, but so difficult to get out of a bad mood. You can be having the best day ever, and then you stub you toe, get stuck in some traffic, or someone you hold the door open for doesn’t say “thank you” and the day is suddenly ruined. Conversely, our sour moods often can’t be assuaged by an onslaught of puppy dogs and ice cream. Why do we tend to closely embrace negatively charged emotions as though we loved them dearly? Moreover, why do we refuse to acknowledge how much power we give to these emotions? Consider the following: You’re meeting a friend for lunch and you’re in an awful mood.  You manage to get by the initial pleasantries and order your meal before launching into an epic rant to about the source of your ire. You’re in deep, and the flow of toxicity seems to have completely consumed you. Suddenly, from a nearby table there’s a scream followed by a desperate plea, “help, my husband’s choking!” Instinctively, you jump into action and successfully perform the Heimlich Maneuver, saving a stranger’s life. Do you then immediately go back to your table and return to your rant? Are you still as irate as you were moments before? Likely not. But what changed? Nothing in regards to your mood or the source of your mood, however, the incident created some much-needed space between you and the emotion. You snapped out of it! That phrase is dangerous when it comes to clinical depression or anxiety, so it’s important to note that this in not what this is about. “Snapping out of it,” is not a solution there. This is simply in reference to our daily moods caused by situational life. The emotions we can control, but often choose to let them get the better of us and allow them to drive. Why sit shotgun, or worse, in the backseat to these emotions, when the driver’s seat is where you belong? Why choose to sit in the backseat or your own car, and allow yourself to be chauffeured by chaos? Perhaps the key is to ask the question, “if something tragic were to happen right now, would this mood still be justified?” If the answer is no, then it’s likely your chauffeur’s name is Ego.

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theconstantstate

Writer, Musician, Educator, Aspiring Stoic and Doting Father

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