Feeling the Way You Feel
One of the more annoying questions I ask myself is, “Yes, but do I really feel that way?”
Why is this so annoying? At its root, it implies an attempt to be “connected” to myself. That seems innocent enough . . . right?
But here’s a new idea I’m toying with: If I feel something, that’s how I feel.
No questioning, no over-analysis, no resistance.
Second-guessing emotions tends to stem from an undercurrent of doubt I have toward my decisions…
Am I making the right choices? Is life stupid? Should I eat that? Is my boyfriend delusional? Am I delusional? Are we all lying to ourselves about everything?
Going one step deeper, though, I should ask: Why am I operating in a state of doubt at all? Is it general distrust? Pride (i.e., not wanting to be wrong)? Low self-esteem?
Those first two things are probably just symptoms of the third.
Maybe I’m in denial about things—all things? Some things? I’m not sure.
But states of denial produce feelings, too. And these feelings, just like non-denial-based feelings, could easily change with new information. Hell, they could change without new information.
Many decisions I’ve made or reversed in life didn’t result from having been in denial beforehand (quitting jobs, moving, quitting lovers).
In those cases, something was explored and ultimately abandoned. Everything served its purpose, and then my feelings changed.
I’m going to try to stop second-guessing myself so much. Feelings are so inexplicable that it may be denial to tell myself I can control or understand them at all.
Besides, I have a . . . feeling (sorry) they’re going to run the show either way.
This post was difficult for me to write, I suppose because it’s about feelings.
I don’t quite know what feelings are, and writing about them seems vague at best. I want to believe they’re just results of chemical mashups within our physiology, but I suppose that’s not giving them enough credit.
I’d love to know if you relate or if you have any thoughts on the subject—leave a comment below.
Reduction would only serve to obfuscate the truth, that feelings are never “just” anything, but rather “at least” those things. I agree that feelings are complicated! Sometimes I feel like no matter how many good decisions I make I inevitably wonder what the other side would’ve been like. I daydream constantly about the different time-lines, trying to figure out how I ended up in the darkest one, collecting information that may prove to be helpful in returning me to my original time-line.
wahhhh bummer–Somehow I didn’t get notified for this comment. Sorry for my delayed response. I’m always interested in you daydreamers. I feel lucky that I don’t spend much time thinking of the other side, but I feel like there are probably advantages I’m missing out on, especially in relating past decisions to present and future outcomes.
One of my favorite books on the subject is all this is Strangers to Ourselves. Check it out!