As soon as we categorise or label any event as having a particular emotional content, we are then ourselves emotionally committed. We have not only defined the event, but also our relationship to it. We’re then bound not only to our assessment of the event, but also compelled to follow our mind’s interpretation of the event’s character and course through a strictly defined sequence of future consequences. This makes us rigid and inflexible, neither able to take possible advantage of a newly presented opportunity, nor to think creatively and laterally about a solution to an apparently insoluble problem. Being able to say “What happens is not as important as how we respond to it” has great positive implications, but we are often too bound by our labels to see it, too blinded by our definition of the “what happened” to see what actually happened, or to respond (if a response is necessary at all) to it calmly and constructively.
The premise upon which we judge situations and the context within which we make our assessment is faulty. Our emotional responses and the actions which we then take are often disproportionate and inappropriate. Not only are our lives unmanageable, it is primarily we who are responsible for making it so. We don’t even see the problems any more, at least not for what they truly are. We only see the intensity of the emotional content invested in it by us, reflected back at us. It is no longer just an event; it’s a bad event.
Dante’s beasts are within us, and we created them.