feelings are valid != feelings are facts

Feelings are a funny thing.

I understand this is becoming more and more common wisdom. I’m grateful for this. Feelings shouldn’t be confused for fact. Still, I don’t believe we can talk about this too much.

Because how you feel is real. How she feels is real. How he feels is real. Those feelings could manifest in three, or more, separate realities. You may well have very different opinions- or observations- about the reality of the situation, however. But, after all, one thing happened. Something happened. Does that mean how you feel is wrong or false? Or is it slightly more complex?

Just because how you feel is REAL, doesn’t mean how you feel is REALITY.

My feelings often misguide me. “Nobody loves you.” “Believe the horrible thing they said about you, even though they were super motivated to tell it for personal gain and they can’t actually back it up with any evidence.” “You failed. You don’t make enough money. You don’t have the right degree to be worth listening to. Leave it to the experts.” Even though I’m reminded that experts gave advice that, when I shared it with trusted folk, laughed at its absurdity. “They didn’t really say that, did they?

Sure, they’re often right. My feelings. They sense something wrong for me. “Trust your gut,” my master says, “It won’t lead you astray.” My gut doesn’t believe my silly anxieties, but rather sees right through people before I even realize what it is I’m sensing. Good on you, gut! Feelings can be very useful that way. BUT– I’d be lying if I said this happened all the time. Sometimes I feel great initially about the person that ends up trying to ruin my life. So, yeah, so much for that.

Feelings can be notoriously unreliable. Especially when it results in you and someone else coming to two complete different conclusions.

Yet my feelings are important, as are yours.

Because they are a good way to get to the reality itself. They exist for a reason, as unfounded and ill-advised as that reason might be. It’s important to not bury the feeling (only to explode in a flurry of tension at an inopportune moment!), but to talk through the feeling.

What part of it is true? What part is…well, less true? What about when the feeling uncovers an unfortunate actual reality? That feeling allows us to handle and get through the situation.

Some days I kinda hate my feelings, some days I love them.

I think of them like the little guys in my command center, like in Inside Out. Helping each other out, fighting through it, whatever. But, after all, they’re a part of me. This is a good thing.

I wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t want to not feel things; I don’t want partners who don’t feel. My master feels deeply, sometimes so deeply it takes my breath away. I love that most about him, even if it also irritates me.

So I guess we, my feelings and I, have all got to just learn to get along, right?

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