Our emotional states are sub-consciously linked to our thoughts. These thoughts can be so subtle and can come and go so quickly that we don’t even notice them. As a result they can be part of unconscious patterns.
It is only through a lack of reflection that our emotions and thoughts are seen to be separate, or that one of them can be privileged over the other. Whenever we’re pulled from our naturally expansive state of being into an ongoing contracted state or low mood, we are almost always engaged in thinking about reality in a way that gives rise to that contraction. If we then move into disliking the mood, we’re on the wrong track because the mood signals that self-reflection is called for. Self-reflection doesn’t mean that the mood is self deserved or that the Universe is trying to tell me something – that is just another form of self-hatred, or self-judgment by another name. Instead self-reflection means noticing without judgement how the bad mood was triggered by a negative thought pattern, a story that we spun around a situation.
The well spun stories we tell ourselves can drain us of our life force and the more a story fits in with our idea of reality the harder it is to recognize. For example, you wake up and realize you’ve forgotten to tell a friend or colleague about a change in arrangements. This inconveniences them and they are a bit irritated. Then they sort things out and tell you not to worry about it. At first you feel better but you find yourself in a bad bad mood all day. You get home at the end of the day feeling fairly stressed and have a drink to unwind. You might also post something online seeking acknowledgement from friends, or go shopping to distract yourself with a new purchase. The situation earlier in the day reinforced your persistent story that you’re not good enough. The smallest tiggers can activate persistent thought patterns and the emotions that go with them. Once triggered we take steps to counter the patterns but, until we dissolve it, it will just be activated again. If you’re free of these stories, you’ll never have a bad day again. Painful moments yes, even many painful moments one following the other but not a bad day.