Wednesday, November 12, 2008

TheSE thInGs cALLeD FeEliNgs

As I am wont to do, I had a pseudo-philosophical discussion with a friend yesterday afternoon. We were talking about emotions, about feelings and how they impact on us.

For a very long time, I was under the impression that there are “right” feelings and there are “wrong” feelings. (There are many personal, familial, social forces at play in contributing to the perception that feelings are “right” or “wrong”.) Like feeling happy is considered “correct”, but feeling angry is “not correct”. For example, what happens when I feel angry is that I don’t acknowledge the feeling is there. I sweep it under the carpet, and the emotion gets buried deep inside me, because it is considered “wrong” to show anger. Over time, when enough of the negative emotions have been collecting, they start to boil over, and show themselves at inappropriate times.

So now I’m slowly learning, that although there are negative emotions, these negative feelings in themselves cannot be considered “right” or “wrong”. They are a lot more complex than that, actually. And having the awareness and being able to articulate these feelings inside us is part of the process to becoming human.

My friend also mentioned something interesting. That often, these so-called negative feelings are actually “nurturing” feelings as well. Because they force us to look at what is causing the distress, and prompt us to show some care for ourselves.

“Take a deep breath. Ride it out for now.”

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