My demands trigger the emotions that cause my unhappiness.
Question: How do I know if I currently have any demands?
The clue to knowing when you have irrational demands is recognizing the distressing emotions, the tension in your body, or the churning in your mind about whatever it is that you want. These demands can be expressed in three strengths:
á thinking out
á emoting out
á acting out
Quite often, it is the emotions that will be a signal. These emotions can be a flag that will alert you that something is awry; something may bear closer inspection.
Question: What are some of the emotions that can signal internal distress or demands?
á fear, frustration, anger, irritation
á worry, resentment, panic, hate
á impatience, anxiety, exasperation, fury
Rather than blaming anyone else for anything, we can take responsibility for what we feel- and therefore, choose the feelings we want to experiance inside us- even if the outside event doesnÕt change.
The area we want to work with is our thoughts and our progamming (beliefs), not our actions- not even our emotions. Our emotions will change as we change our beliefs that cause them. If those beliefs are rigid demands, we can change them to preferences.
Demands and preferences are both wants and desires- but differ in intensity and are vastly different in how they effect your enjoyment.
Question: Why do we still hold on to our demands even though we know they cause us to continually experience distress and disappointment?
I believe we hold on to our demands because we have the illusion that we need them. This is based on a misunderstanding of what we mean by preferences. With A Preference:
á You can still want what you want.
á You can still try to make changes.
á You can still think youÕre right.
á You can more skillfully achieve your positive intention.
á You just donÕt have to feel upset or unhappy.
Let your distressful emotions be the signal to ferret out your irrational demands and turn them into preferences.
Our demands trigger emotions that cause unhappiness. Preferences never do. Today you have the power to choose happiness or unhappiness. Which will you choose?