“Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.” – Audre Lorde
Everyone has many feelings on a daily basis. These feelings help determine our moods, what we will do, and the decisions we will make. It is important to realize how powerful feelings are, and also some of the myths and misconceptions we have heard or may have about them.
There are a few basic feelings but many variations. To make it simple, the most common and basic feelings are sad, glad, mad, and scared. All but glad come from a basic bigger feeling of fear and are based on beliefs we developed from past experiences or teachings. Feeling glad comes from the basic feeling of love and is present-oriented. The other feelings are real, and they can be changed to a more positive feeling or have a less negative effect on us if we change our patterns of thinking and processing events and thoughts and beliefs.
Feelings are neither right nor wrong. Feelings are very personal and individual. Each person has the right to feel whatever they wish. We may disagree or experience a different feeling, and that does not make the other person’s feeling wrong. Placing a right or wrong on feelings puts judgments on them, which is not anyone’s job to do.
Feelings do not need to control our behavior. Granted, when a person feels angry, he or she might have the desire to curse, hit someone or something, throw something, or yell. But those are just a few of many of the options open to them as far as their behavior is concerned. If we feel angry and decide to laugh it off or to accept it as natural for hitting our thumb with a hammer, we can then decide whether to act in a calm (although it does hurt of course) manner, or to throw the hammer, yell at the hammer (when in fact it was our hand that was controlling it) kick the cat, etc. We are always at choice for how we translate feelings into behavior. It’s healthy to not hold feelings in, and we have many ways of expressing the feelings from which to choose.
Feelings are good barometers of other things going on in our life. Unless we are really into fooling others, and ourselves, how we feel is generally a good indicator of how we feel we are doing in the world at the time. We can be having a bad day and choose not to let it affect those around us or get us down. When we are doing what we love to do and treating others and ourselves in a loving and considerate manner, chances are good we will have feelings that correspond to that. If we are hurting others, cheating on our spouse, or yelling at our children, chances are we will more often feel the negative types of feelings such as anger, frustration, self-doubt, guilt, etc. We may even experience physical ills when our feelings are not of the positive variety. The mind and body go hand-in-hand.
Feelings need to be dealt with and acknowledged. Feelings will not just go away if we ignore them. They are a perfect example of the snowball effect. If we do not deal with them by talking, or writing, or some other manner, they will grow bigger and more intense. What was once a small feeling of resentment can turn into a large feeling of hatred. What was once a small hurt can turn into isolation or vengeance feelings or behaviors. If we cannot deal with the feeling on our own, the next best thing is to talk to a best friend, a pastor, a Coach, or anyone we trust who will listen. Sometimes, the best way is to talk it out with the person or persons around which we have developed the feelings. It is not easy, but unless it is done, it saps a person’s energy, causes personal and business problems, and worst of all, deteriorates the quality of the person’s life, due to all of the constant negative energy. Feelings can ruin a life, or they help create a life that is full of prosperity, abundance, peace, good health, and love.