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Backing out of a One Way Street: How to get the Hell out of a Bad Emotion

December 22, 2009


Have you ever been angry or sad and felt as if someone was throwing gasoline on your negative emotion?

Well, I certainly have.

Here’s an example of how it goes:

Someone says something and you think a thought.  The thought causes a negative emotion.  From that emotion, you think another crappy thought, and the emotion builds.  Then, another thought pops up, and the emotion gets even stronger.

This process can continue until you have a full blown nervous breakdown or you want to hurt someone really, really badly.  Neither response is ideal.

It’s like turning down a one-way street to Badville, the town of nasty emotions.  The longer you drive, the stronger the emotions become.  If you keep driving, you’ll end up downtown where the streets are confusing, the people are unfriendly and it’s difficult to find your way out.

So, when I’ve noticed that I have turned down the wrong one-way street, I attempt to get the hell out as soon as I notice where I’m heading.  I throw my mental car in reverse and drive to a safe place where I can examine what’s really going on, because if I allow myself to drive all the way to Badville, I know I’ll be there for a while, and it’s not a place that I want to be hanging out.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2009 4:04 am

    Very relevant post, Tonya. I caught myself in some sadness today and listened to the negative thought that came up. A thought full of superlatives that make it sound ultimately, permanently, and hugely true. Whoa! I saw where following that thought would lead and pulled myself right back. Not going down that street today!

  2. December 22, 2009 12:07 pm

    Love this!!

  3. December 22, 2009 7:55 pm

    Locking your car doors doesn’t work in Badville either. I know, I’ve tried it…it’s called denial.

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