February 2

Today's quotation:

No one can do a thing about feelings; they exist and there's no way to censor them.  We can reproach ourselves for some action, for a remark, but not for a feeling, quite simply because we have no control at all over it.

Milan Kundera

Today's Meditation:

I've spent a lot of time trying to come to grips with feelings.  Some of them I've felt bad about, even though I didn't cause them myself.  Some of them I've tried to deny, even though I've very clearly had them.  I've come to a point, though, at which I realize that my feelings are what they are, and the only practical thing I can do about them is to accept them and deal with them on their terms.

That doesn't mean that I'm helpless to do anything about them.  Once I accept them, I can either reject them or act based on what they tell me--I don't have to let them control me.  If I feel helpless in a certain situation, I can accept that helpless feeling and then react to it, hopefully rejecting it and moving on with my life.  These helpless feelings have their origin in my childhood and my growing years, and they're usually pretty inaccurate.  If I try to deny them, though, then I continue to act while feeling helpless, and that almost never turns out well.

Not all feelings should be rejected, though.  If I say something too harsh to someone else, my feelings will let me know that I've done something wrong, and then it's time to apologize so that I can rid myself of the bad feeling.  My feelings can be a wonderful guide for me as long as I pay attention to them and try to understand the messages that they're bringing to me.

As David says below, though, it's also important to deal with feelings on their terms.  I can't rationalize them or explain them or even understand them sometimes, but there they are!  And they do bring a richness to life that we wouldn't have otherwise, so it's important to accept them just as they are, without trying to explain them away.  Only when we accept them completely and allow them to affect us will our feelings turn into the guide through life that they were meant to be.

Questions to consider:

Why do we often discount the importance of our feelings?

Are all of our feelings genuine, or do some arise from sources other than our genuine selves?

How often do you try to explain the significance or meaning of your feelings?  Are you successful in doing so?

For further thought:

Feelings are not supposed to be logical.  Dangerous is the person who has rationalized his or her emotions.

David Borenstein

more thoughts and ideas on feelings



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