Yesterday, I was talking to a good friend of mine about how past feelings and emotions sometimes re-surface, no matter how badly we want them to go away. I agreed with him, since I knew some horrible emotions from my past often showed themselves when I least expected it. He said we could never fully supress them, once we go through something, it's with us for the rest of our lives.
I got to thinking later that day about how a lot of my old negative feelings hadn't come around lately. I began to feel slightly proud about it, until right now, when I woke up in the middle of the night, sweating, heart pounding, senseless fear over I knew not what. It was a panic attack. I was having my first one in a long time.
Although I was able to stop it rather quickly by distracting my mind, I couldn't help but laugh at myself over thinking I was getting better at this whole emotions thing. I'm just as vulnerable to them now as I was back then, and I'll always be. Maybe it's not a matter of completely overcoming, but of slowly replacing.
See, a lot of good things have happened to me in the past three months. I've had a lot of positive change, positive emotions, and healed relationships. I felt like I was getting better at just being happy for all the things God has blessed me with. Although there hadn't been too many outside changes, I still allowed my thoughts, my actions, and my words to be positive. It was an internal change. This is why I think most of the negative stuff from my past almost entirely went away, or if it did try to come back, I was much better at changing the outcome.
I didn't do anything specifically to get rid of the negative. I simply decided to fill my head with positive things. There's no room for sadness when you're happy. They can't co-exist inside your mind. When you feel the bad thing rising, immediately replace them with good. That's the only way you can guarantee a change.
God actually gives us a bit of help with this in His word. "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -think about such things." (Philippians 4:8) I'm guessing the creator of our minds knew it was best for the most defining part of our bodies to be filled with the positive. Our actions, our personalities, everything starts there, and if it's not something good, we're going to get undesirable results.
If it helps, maybe something you could do to get your mind back in the right mindset (because being positive is beneficial for more than just getting rid of negative feelings), you could make a list of things that make you happy. Maybe it's a person, a phrase, an accomplishment you had, or anything that fits the description of Philippians 4:8. Put it somewhere you can see it often, and read it while you smile.