Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I've coincidentally had the same conversation with three people today about the same thing. Feelings. Before, I get too far, let me just say, I am one of the most feeling-immersed people you could ever know. I cry for many reasons, sometimes all at once, I laugh hysterically when others have merely chuckled and I even get my feelings hurt by things I probably shouldn't.

Nonetheless, I think we (I guess here is where I'd insert "as a society" so everyone would know who we are, but I don't think we need that) are too into how we feel. I don't feeeeeel like doing it, we say when we have to work. I don't feel like you love me enough, we say to our significant others. I don't feel that you understand me, we say to our friends. But you know what? Who cares?

Well yeah, we care, but I really don't think we ought to so much. Who told you work or relationships or living was going to feel good all the time? Who told you you'd skip through your office door every morning feeling like you were the most appreciated person on Earth? Who told you meeting someone and loving them was going to feel right all the time? No one who isn't a liar, that's who.

I don't like it. I don't like that we're teaching kids that hurt feelings is reason for retaliation. I don't like that people can justify infidelity because they didn't feel like they thought they should. I don't like that we can sue a company because we felt objectified by a bad email. I think it's all ridiculous. Of course there are exceptions, but that shouldn't rule us. We're governing ourselves with fear and complacency rather than integrity and responsibility.

I guess I could say I figured this out a couple years ago, but I don't know as that would be accurate. As I said, I can still be a sensitive, woe-is-me-why-is-life-so-stinkin'-unfair little baby. I know this. What I've found it more practical to do is not let it determine my action. Yes, you might argue love is a feeling and shouldn't we let that determine action? Well, yes. But just feeling something doesn't make it so. I can feel all day that I need to wash my car and I can feel bad that it's dirty but until I drag out the hose, it's gonna stay dirty. Same goes for work, for relationships and just about everything else. I can feel and feel and feel that someone has hurt me but until I decide to confront that, even if it's just in my own mind, I will never get anywhere. You have to move forward eventually.

So I tell myself (and sometimes others), just stop. Stop letting how you feel cloud what's right and wrong. Stop expecting that everything is supposed to feel good in order to heed good results. Stop acting like you have to be 100% in love with every emotion running through your little body just because it's there. You don't. Some things are going to disappoint you. Some things are going to be hard. Some people are going to try to make you feel bad. This is not maybe, this is definitely. And it is going to be difficult. It is going to weigh on you. You are going to struggle and be tempted to morph into a creature of anger or sadness or fear.

But even with that temptation, you can do the right thing anyway. You will not act because of the feelings, you will act in spite of them. And you will be reassured, you will be proud. Most of all, you will suffer less. Of this, I am certain.


brandy said...

I wish more people thought like this! I get so tired of hearing people justify their poor choices by inserting the word 'feel'. Sometimes, (even when the action is horrible) I appreciate someone who says "I was an idiot" rather than "I felt blah, blah, blah".

Bre said...

I feel like telling you how awesome you are is redundant at this point, but you totally are!

GirlGoyle said...

I think that sometimes one should be entitle to do as they feel instead of always worrying about how others feel. But that is just me.

justrun said...

Brandy- Couldn't agree more.

Bre- You are the nicest girl!

GG- I'm not saying it's not okay to feel, it's just less productive and sometimes even damaging to us when we mistake feelings for principle.

e.b. said...

That freaking rocked! I sat there nodding my head up and down. I have to keep it all in mind.

justacoolcat said...

In some ways it's a sorry world that has morphed into a place where "feelings" are considered to be more important that what is right or wrong.

The PC culture has taken an unexpected turn in Albuquerque and now everyone is a victim.

Anonymous said...

I'm a very emotional person so your post is really giving me food for thought about how I react to the world. I always run when I think my emotions are cloudy my thoughts though so I can think straight. Maybe recognizing your feeling though is half the battle of making right decisions. I don't know.

Sizzle said...

i totally needed to hear that. thanks!

oddly enough, i wrote about being a crier today even before i read this post.

egan said...

Yeah, I like reading posts about feelings. As guys, we're portrayed as not the emotional type. But that's just not fair and nor should it be expected. The reality is life has many ups and downs and if you don't emote during those times, what kind of person are you? Anyways, thanks for the heartfelt post.

runliarun said...

Michelle was so right when she remarked how wise you are. Emotions, yes, should not rule us and our actions, but we have to learn from them. It's a fine line to tread.

Danielle said...

I absolutely agree with you. Look at the fact that at a race, every kid gets a ribbon because if only those that place in the top get ribbons, someone might feel bad...well, good. They will feel bad sometimes and it's good to teach them that if they want something, and don't get it, work harder next time. Feelings are important, but they aren't the end all be all. You need to work with your head in spite of the way you feel.

skinnylittleblonde said...

A gazillion times I have heard and said 'We can change our minds but not our feelings.' Feelings evolve.
It's a verbage thing, a manipulation, if you will.
'I don't feel like going to work' should be 'I don't want to go to work.'
'I dont feel you understnad me' should be 'I dont think you understand me.'
All too often our thoughts, wants, likes & dislikes are manipulated into feelings. Why?
Maybe because we acknowledge that we have more control over these things than we do over true feelings & we like to try to free ourselves of our own responsibility for our own thoughts, wants & such.
I dunno, but maybe?

Celina said...

*Cheers* I don't even know what else to say. I've been working on a post about being the "Center of the Universe" and it's taking me so long to figure out what I'm trying to say... It's more or less a post about how I "feel" in "my world" and the role that we have as individuals. Anyways, reading the way you organize your thoughts and how you discuss such "abstract" and personal things is helping. You have such a way with words, and I really do appreciate your Outlook on Life! Thanks for sharing!

Josh said...

"We're governing ourselves with fear and complacency rather than integrity and responsibility."

Wow... what a great line!