Do not give in too much to feelings.
A overly sensitive heart is an unhappy possession on this shaky earth.
Feelings...they must be the most misunderstood human phenomenon to date. We, as a society, have built up tremendous truths about feelings, and we have created practices that represent and protect these truths. Take our legal system, for example. It has terminology especially dedicated to how feelings may impact the law...crime of passion, temporary insanity, competency, hostile witness, no-fault divorce, etc.
We don't understand feelings, exactly, so we make up a lot of excuses for ourselves...excuses that are widely accepted. When I get mad, I cannot control myself...He/she made me feel this way...I can't help/change the way I feel...When I feel depressed, I've just gotta go through it. Sound familiar?
But, the more important question is, does it really sound true? A simple look at human experience points to a logical sequence. It goes like this:
1. A person has a thought. This happens all the time, but to this thought, he/she gives attention.
2. Very soon many thoughts in support of this original idea have been created in a moments time.
3. Before we are even aware of this process, we find ourselves in a feeling. We are further convinced that this feeling is a reality, because we've built up a lot of thinking about it already.
4. Our five senses begin to re-confirm what we created, and we are now only aware of what will confirm our current personal thinking.
5. From this some behaviors are likely to follow, and we are likely left feeling that we are at the mercy of our feelings.
I am here to tell you say that this old logic regarding feelings is not good enough, or even valid! Feelings are the proof of what we are doing with our thinking. They are a barometer for your quality of thinking from moment to moment. This is why even during times of grief, we may have moments of contentment or a burst of laughter. We can create what we want. This is the actual opposite of being at the mercy of our feelings. In fact we are the creator of our feelings. What good news!..."Spread the news, the wicked old which at last is dead!" d
All it takes is a new way of understanding your feelings...the curiosity to experiment next time feelings start to seem too big. When you remind yourself that your feelings indicate that you've stepped out of your natural state and have given life to personal thoughts, a funny thing happens. Those thoughts just die. You've expose them as what they are...your creation...the man behind the wizard's curtain, and from this vantage point it's the most natural thing to see that you have so many other options.
I'll leave you with the wise, Darlene Stewart (1993, pg 167):
"Mental health doesn't mean you never have negative feelings or bad moods. Mental health is knowing what negative feelings are so you don't use them as an excuse to hurt yourself or someone else. Emotional maturity doesn't mean you never feel scared or despondent; it means you have the wisdom to recognize uncomfortable feelings as outgrowths of the way you are thinking right now."