So the last couple of days I have been writing about my experiences on the emotional roller coaster which was my life pretty much all the time.
I think the key to all this is to question everything. You can then choose to accept or reject thoughts and feelings that do not serve you.
For example, if you feel guilt and/or shame for something you did, does this change what happened? Does it help the person you hurt?
Our "trance" response is that if we feel guilty enough we will not do it again. But is this true? Is there another answer that is at least or more true?
As the Hawaiian principle of Makia says, energy flows where attention goes, so if you spend your time thinking about what happened, you are keeping it alive through the energy in your thoughts and emotions (remember emotion=energy in motion).
So you are much more likely to repeat the behaviour if you are constantly thinking about it.
As Einstein said, you cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Instead, focus on how you would like to behave, feel, be. That way you promote the ideal state and with practice and repetition, will become the new habit, the new norm.
This is the only way to avoid repeating old mistakes and dealing more successfully with emotions. To create a vision of the solution - of how you would like to live, and lean into it, as some authors say.
By questioning, as I said in the original post, you can also decide whether a certain course of action is right for you - whether the highs are worth the lows, or whether they will go beyond the limits you have placed on acceptable "deviation from the norm" of happiness.
I used to think that was unromantic (in a wider sense than just being in love), that we would miss out on amazing experiences.
Perhaps that's true.
But who really wants to enter or continue in a relationship (with a lover, friend, colleague, whomever) in which manipulation is the norm or in which you cannot be yourself.
If we are continuously observant and mindful of our own feelings and behaviour, and that of others, we can more safely enter into relationships and choose to continue or not.
We can be aware of the ego of others, so we can see what they really have to offer and will not take without offering anything, draining our energy.
Before that, of course, we need to make sure we are aware of our own ego, so we can give without thinking about reward.
This is the way to not only healthy relationships but helps maintain a healthy emotional balance.