ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TODAY- Are Your Feelings Beating You Up?
When I was sixteen years old a song based on a melody composed by Loulou Gaste and sung by Morris Albert was popular on the radio. The name of the song was Feelings. Although years have come and gone, the opening line of the song remains with me. The first words were, “Feelings, nothing more than feelings.” Never has a song told more truth through fewer words.
Our feelings are truly nothing more than feelings, indicators that something else is going on with our world and us. We often give our feelings, which are not synonymous with emotions, power they do not have. Our feelings are important. However, the larger umbrella that covers our feelings is our emotions.
A feeling is an emotional reaction or state, while emotions, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, are a “conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.”
Our feelings can come from reacting with any of our five senses. The result is feelings of warmth, hunger, thirst, chill, dryness, sadness, happiness, excitement, fear, disgust, or hurt.
Emotions are generally categorized by degree. Because of this, you could say that the biggest difference between feelings and emotions is that feelings have to be triggered by an external motivating factor whereas emotions can be completely internalized.
For example, let’s say our father is yelling at us. According to our beliefs (I’ll never do anything right, I am never wrong, or another belief), we translate that situation with our feelings. The feeling we experience from the interpretation is an emotion (anger, fear, sadness, etc).
Several emotional theories state that there are six primary emotions that are common to all cultures: love, anger, happiness, sorrow, anticipation, and fear. Note: Anger often takes a lead among the emotion dream stealers. When we experience a perceived loss of control over things that are important to us in some way, we feel angry. That loss of control could look like unemployment, failure, past issues, or a comparison to another person who is achieving things or goals we desire. We assume others have the control we feel we are lacking and become angry.
While our emotions are not positive or negative, they are a response that propel us either forward or backward.
A complication in human emotion is the fact that we have memories. Our emotions are indicators that are a normal part of our lives. Unfortunately, we have been told that emotions, like sadness, are bad and we needed to deny them together with our feelings. Our emotions are indicators that need a proper release. When we suppress (hold in) our emotions, it often leads to depression. When we repress (lock away) our emotions, it often leads to illness. When we deny (don’t deal with) our emotions, it often leads to issues of integrity.
Over time, our emotions create a state of habit, something we begin to trust in as truth. We might receive a message from a parent who always catered to our needs and gave us what we wanted that “I can have anything I want.” The feelings we could have from that message might be pride, superiority, favored status, etc. Over time, those feelings and emotions become beliefs about the world and us.
Emotions are not dream stealers because they are a problem in and of themselves. Emotions are neither good nor bad, although they may have a negative or positive feeling attached to them. Emotions become dream stealers when we attach them to our identity and make what we feel who we are.
Emotions become dream stealers when we allow the emotions (shame, guilt, worthlessness, superiority, etc.) of our life to dictate our decisions, attitudes, movements, and hopes in dreaming for more and living out our potential. We often give power to emotions in making them controllers of our lives instead of seeing them as indicators of situations or internal problems that should be dealt with accordingly.
THE TRUTH ABOUT EMOTIONS
- Our feelings and emotions have no power outside of what we give them. Regardless of the pain, harm, injustice, or confusion of our emotions, ultimately everything is a choice. In most cases, we were not able to have a choice in the situations done to us. However, as an adult, we do have the choice in how we deal with the impact of those situations.
- Our feelings and emotions are not problems but symptoms of a possible problem in our lives.
- Our feelings and emotions are only feelings and emotions, they are never who we are as a person.
- Our feelings and emotions are not the enemy.
Excerpt from book, Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely tm
You can do this!
Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely tm
Copyright © 2017 by Charlotte D. Hunt All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, or otherwise without written permission from the author except for brief quotations in printed reviews.