Friday, August 12, 2011

Feelings: A Ball of Confusion

From whence do feelings come?  How do they originate?  Many psychologists believe that feelings originate from the thought process.  You have a thought, usually triggered from an external source, which then triggers an emotional response, which then creates an action.  This, in turn, produces a consequence - negative or positive.  But there's more because then you think about the results of the first action ,which then creates more feelings, another action, another result.  It never ends - this cycle/formula of A+B+C=D (thought, feeling, behavior, consequence). 

As children we learn that certain feelings are appropriate for girls, boys others.  For example, girls are taught that it is not cool or right to get angry, much less display angry feelings.  So girls grow into women who learn to suppress their feelings.  Many grow up with hostile, bitter, angry feelings.  Boys, on the other hand, are told to "Man up" "Boys are not suppose to cry."  So boys grow into men who learn to hide or suppress their sensitive side.  Thinking it girly to express emotions. 

This morning I was thinking (enough with the jokes already - lol!), actually I was feeling.  One minute I was joyful, cheerful, and hopeful.  The next, worried, angry, frightened and indifferent.  However, when I was feeling the negative emotions, I told myself that I should not feel that way.  Then I said, "No, feel what you are feeling - you have every right - then move on."  In other words, don't suppress the negative feelings - feel them, too.  Don't negate them because they are just as important as the positive ones.  All this got me to thinking about how people are raised and taught about how to handle/experience certain emotions.  Through this experience I've learned that all emotions are valid and valuable.  Being human allows us to experience the priceless myriad emotions - which is inherent to being human - and is both facinating and fearful at the same time.  We experience love, hate, joy, peace, indifference, sadness, disgust, rage, envy, jealousy, fear and horror.  I believe that even negative feelings have value.  Suppose you see what you believe to be an injustice taking place.  You begin to seeth inside with anger, rage.  That anger - called righteous indignation - can allow you to begin the process of making a positive change, which can then have a domino effect.  We can even sabotage our own wonderful, postive emotions, at times.  For example, believing that we have no right to experience joy and happiness when, in fact, so many of the world's population is suffering.   

I believe that to be a complete, whole, perfect human being entails our being able to accept, face and challenge all our feelings.  And, thus, continue to love ourselves through the process.  Cheers!!


  1. oh so true!
    and wise
    it then also goes hand in hand with being in the moment
    if you're not present in each moment then you're already projecting onto the future or worse yet, punishing yourself for the past

    thanks so much for all your kind words about my photos
    they made me happy

  2. What a great and thought-provoking post. I often think about men being raised from boys that were taught to suppress their feelings. A fact that unfortunately leads to their early demise as compared to women. Perhaps in your articulate referencing of positive and negative feelings, that the inwardly and outwardly display of feelings between men and women create a balance. Excellent post, Michelle.

  3. What a good post this is. Visit my blog and I just posted there what I feel today the moment I woke up lol!! And reading your post reminded me of so many things. Thanks for this post. Happy weekend!

  4. Dianne - Precisely. I, for one, am guilty of that very same thing. I am either worried about the future or feel rueful about the past. I know that I need to stay focused on the present. My life would be so much more peaceful. I read somewhere that life really is nothing more than a succession of moments. That's all we ever really have is the present. Cheers D!!

    Nantz - In recent times, men have displayed more of their sensitive side. Even on the screen. Actors like Robin Williams, Tom Hanks, even Vincent, have played parts that require a certain sensitivity. Women, on the other hand, who display more masculine traits are called the "B" word or worse. I believe men and women could learn to be better balanced if they showed and honored both sides of themselves. Cheers Nancy!!

    You are most welcome for this post Kim. I'm on my way to your blog right now. Cheers K!!


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