Why Are Dating Sites Causing Homelessness? A Look At Why Emotional Control Is So Important.
Being able to control our emotions is vital to success, and peace of mind in life. But, what does controlling our emotions mean exactly? Does it mean not reacting to our emotions? Does it mean not letting emotions arise at all? In this article, I will give you the Buddhist perspective of emotional control, why it’s important, and how to develop such a skill.
Emotional Control: The ability to diminish strong emotions quickly, after they arise.
Why It’s Important.
Strong emotions either positive or negative hinder our ability to see reality clearly. When we are infuriated with someone, we exaggerate how terrible they are. When we are madly in love, we embellish how great someone is. These powerful emotions inhibit us from making clear, concise decisions.
Are Dating Sites Causing Homelessness?
I once volunteered at a homeless shelter in Texas. While there, I asked the director if she noticed any trends that were leading to homelessness. She said the reasons vary, but there was one familiar pattern emerging.
She proceeded to tell me that:
• People were meeting on long distance dating sites.
• Falling in love and deciding to move in together. This decision left one person moving to a city they’ve never been to. They would often make this move without a job lined up.
• Once there, they would not find work, and eventually run out of money. When the couple split, the person that moved would be left homeless, and stranded.
This answer took me by surprise, but it was a great lesson on how strong emotions can destroy our lives. If these people weren’t overrun by intense love (or lust), they would have likely made different decisions. Like having a job lined up before they moved. But, as the old saying goes, love is blind.
The obvious remedy here is to keep emotions from getting too intense. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. If a tiger appears in front of me, I’m going to be scared shitless. Not much I can do about that. In the same way, we all face situations that automatically invoke strong emotional responses. With that said, we must master emotional control. This skill allows us to diminish strong emotions quickly. This will keep us from making poor, impulsive decisions that compound our problems. To develop this skill we need to do three things.
1. Learn to become more aware of when a strong emotion is present. (This article can help you hone that skill.)
2. Learn the antidotes to each emotion.
3. Develop the ability to apply these cures effectively.
What exactly is an emotional antidote?
Just as we can take antibiotics to cure diseases, we can apply mental antidotes to rid of emotions. From a Buddhist perspective every strong emotion has an antidote that will diminish the intensity of the emotion. Learning these remedies, and how to apply them, allows us to take control of our emotions. Here are a few examples of remedies.
Jealousy: Rejoicing in others success.
Discontentment: Cultivating appreciation for what we have.
Overconfidence: Contemplate a time when your complacency due to overconfidence that led to mistakes which cost you.
I will discuss these remedies and many more in great detail in future posts.
To conclude, it is important to understand that we don’t have to let emotions dominate our lives. With practice, and education, we can take control of our emotions. Once we do this our emotions cease to act as dictators in our lives, and become our loyal servants.
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Until next time, I wish you well☺