plural noun: feelings
an emotional state or reaction.”a feeling of joy”
I write these blogs from my feelings , heck a lot of my work as a psychiatrist is about understanding feelings , so how come it is not so easy for me to write ABOUT feelings ?
Perhaps this is because FEELINGS can be sooo subjective. NO one really is an expert on another person’s FEELINGS because it is so personal, so subjective. You have YOUR FEELINGS and I have MINE… both are valid and demand respect.
When a patient is telling me how they FEEL in a therapeutic session, they are granting me special access to their psyche, in hopes that I can be helpful to them . To me , this feels both honorable and humbling at the same time.
I am well trained to do this type of work however I do have to work really hard to try to understand WHAT and HOW my patients are FEELING. This is because they are only granting me temporary access to a very personal space, to their very personal property- THEIR FEELINGS.
Scientific data support that animals have the ability to feel , however we humans are the only known species thought to have the ability to “ think” about our FEELINGS. This is a form of introspection. Lucky Us right?
Well not so fast , you see this amaze ability we’ve been given also comes with challenges. Think about it, since we can think about feelings, then we may easily be expected to “understand “ not only our own FEELINGS well but the feelings of those around us, perhaps even our pets . I mean why not , right?
Well the problem with this “tall order “is that we are generally not great at understanding even our own FEELINGS let alone those of others in our lives.
Nonetheless, FEELINGS are a vital piece of our communicative ability . We need to not only be able to express our FEELINGS but also try to recognize those of the people around us. We typically do this by observation of behavior, affect and ofcourse expressive language. Sharing and understanding FEELINGS seems harder and harder for us to do in this technologically advanced, face mask wearing , Instagram posting , pandemic life we are all currently living.”’.
No wonder emojis and GIFs exists to help us out 🤪
It is wonderful to have the ability to express our feelings safely and hopefully without judgement. You see, because feelings are “ like visitors, they come and go”. Having the terminology to express how we are feeling at any point is extremely valuable. It allows others to “ hear “and “see” us more clearly.
There is also an inter connection between our FEELINGS, our thoughts and then our behaviors.
FEELINGS also have a way of surprising us at times. They seem to have a “ mind” of their own, showing up at unexpected times such as , a stronger than expected reaction to a situation, tearfulness at a romantic movie or a nostalgic music, the thrill of the physical touch of our loved ones, fearfulness triggered by specific phobia, or even guilt and self loathing of our own self.. ouch!. Our feelings can sometimes illuminate parts of our psyche that we may not be ready to uncover yet, for better or for worse.
To get to be better at understanding FEELINGS, we must first pay attention and welcome feelings . This is not an easy task, you see , because FEELINGS can be varied and complex. Some FEELINGS are beautifully intoxicating like LOVE , some exhilarating like a thrill of adventure , some are frustration when you discover for example that your middle seat on the plane doesn’t work to do that very tiny recline thing to bring you comfort (ugh!) while others can be pain staking such as GRIEF and PAIN.
It is no wonder , most people prefer to sweep both theirs and others’ FEELINGS aside due to the complicated nature of FEELINGS. It can feel like a Pandora box that we rather not to open , least this exploration unleashes DRAMA!
In reality, not acknowledging FEELINGS does not make them to seize to exist. ALL FEELINGS , good or bad, are valuable and can teach us more about ourselves and the world around us, IF we let it. Beauty and growth can be on the other side of adversity or even those negative FEELINGS.
It is important that we validate our feelings, even when we cannot find the words to describe those feelings. We should honor our feelings and those of the people around us.
Practice getting comfortable with FEELINGs.. the next time you casually ask someone , “how are you?” , it may be worthwhile to actually give space to receive their response, instead of rushing away without knowing how they really are FEELING.
We can get better at embracing FEELINGS without judgment. Can you imagine a world where humans actually cared about how each other were FEELING? Geez, that almost sounds utopian.
The practice of mindfulness and meditations may be helpful in embracing FEELINGS in an nonjudgmental manner . Although this may not come easy to us at first , remember like most things in life … Practice yields Progress !
My dear reader, it is my wish for you , that you find value in your own feelings and the feelings of those around you, and may this wonderful gift be also returned to you DOUBLE FOLDS!💕
As always, thank you for reading my musings on this blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕