Feelings, Nothing more than FEELINGS

Emotions. As I was growing up, I learned to bury them. I didn’t know I was burying them. I was just doing what I was told. “If someone hurts your feelings, don’t let them see.” “Don’t let anger get the best of you.” “This isn’t the time to cry.” “If you have to say ‘sorry’ it’s too late.” I don’t think I’m the only person who’s heard this litany of self-control. Michael Martin Murphy wrote a song about it called, “Cowboy Logic.”

It’s hard to say if it is good or not. Sometimes it’s useful to hold the cards close to your chest, but I have learned in the past dozen years that emotions carry important information that I need in order to understand what’s happening in the outside world. Automatically burying feelings deprives me of some of that information and keeps me from being able to decide whether the emotion is useful or useless, whether the cause is serious or I’m just tired and hungry. And, if the cause is serious, then I can do something about it — or realize I can’t.

Since I learned all this about myself, I’ve had to learn to feel and identify my emotions. It is not easy, but it IS better. Life makes a lot more sense. πŸ™‚



8 thoughts on “Feelings, Nothing more than FEELINGS

    • It’s really hard.

      A friend recently lied to me. She did it to save my feelings and, I’m sure in her mind, to save the friendship, but the way I’m wired, lying is the WORST thing. To me her lie was disrespectful and patronizing.

      I was very proud of myself because I knew INSTANTLY that I was hurt and angry and WHY. That is a HUGE benchmark for me. Knowing that, I also know that our friendship is now downgraded to “If I have to see you, I’ll be nice to you.” It’s not a matter of forgiving or anything. I have learned something about her. Yes, her motives were kind. But she should know me better than that. She’s had the opportunity and she wasn’t paying attention. I don’t know if I’ll take it up with her; I don’t think she’d understand the WHY.

      Anyway, in the past I would have felt weird and not known why and I would have felt confused for a long time and blamed myself for not being someone else. All of this without knowing why. So a little progress. πŸ™‚

  1. I had a supervisor tell me that I needed to not keep my emotions bottled up because once I start talking about them…..I don’t just talk. I explode. Still finding it hard to let those feelings out because I am so used to ‘suppress, suppress, suppress, explode.’ It is very hard to change what is engrained in you.

    • Yeah — Explode or implode against yourself. I’m learning — if I feel my emotions and understand what they’re saying, I can choose my reaction. But the worst thing a person can do is pursue me when I’m angry and want to go away and sort out the anger. That is pulling the tiger’s tail and is a VERY bad idea. I regard it as contempt if I say, “Leave me alone right now” and they don’t. Then I think, “Gloves are off.”

      I am still not good at expressing the feelings to others. It doesn’t always seem to be that useful.

  2. ‘I am still not good at expressing the feelings to others. It doesn’t always seem to be that useful’
    I agree. Essential to identify them for yourself, but sometimes expressing them to others feels like ‘look at me’ – which I guess also has value but sometimes feels to me like counter-productive, self-righteous indulgence which makes me feel like a right snot.

    • My reason for not expressing them is usually because what they’ve done is in complete harmony with who they are. I can’t change that. Other times it’s because it’s clear that if they cared about my feelings, what happened never would have happened so it’s irrelevant. I don’t want to sound (or be) a self-righteous snot, either. It doesn’t go anywhere.

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