It was until about a year ago when it was hard to feel; I just didn’t know it.
In Myers-Briggs personality world, you’re either:Â A thinker, a feeler, or evenly split between the two. I’m officially classified as a thinker, but what the 4-letter diagnosis doesn’t touch is why and how IÂ got to be one, norÂ because of some things and despite others. Of course, I think a succinct diagnosis is always a good thing. But it’s been a recent crazy exploration of the “F” side of me that has been largely untouched for the other 95% of my life.
Feelings are an unstable phenomenon. You just can’t count on them. Hell if they can earn you a living. But they sure can make you feel alive. And after awhile comes the real danger, when you break the dam of it all. You just might be thirstyÂ to onlyÂ be alive.
Feelings are unpredictible but they are truth. There is no process to test if feelings are rational or not – chances are, they’re not. There’s no way to contest that they’ve occurred and will occur in the future.Â But it’s a common phenomenon these days to think that feelings just get in the way of the ultimate goal of what we think we want. We might think we want (ok, or actually desire) “stability.” It’s as if sanitizing the pathÂ were the ultimate goal in achieving some sort of utilitarian utopia. So really – is that what we really want? To become machinists of comfort? Because it sure seems as though the actions we take are reflecting that way.
“What do you feel?”
To correct the patterns of the past, it’s a question that I’ve been becoming accustomed to – whether it’s asking myself, askingÂ friends I’m having conversations with. There is no fear anymore that acknowledging feelings will yield crazy results in action,Â or that being honestÂ about them will fail to impress the right people. I am flat-out sick of thinking I have to impress. In fact – and I’m not talking about pouring out sob stories to perfect strangers, here, butÂ – the right people willÂ accept you where you are in the right doses. I can do without everyone else.Â InÂ the end,Â failure to acknowledge them now will definitely yield crazy, unpredictible results in the future from having boiled beneath the surface.
When you ignore your feelings, you become disconnected to your passions. Following your passions is a volatile path. Shouldn’t we strive to conquer that fear? As they say – being courageous isn’t being void of fear; it’s overcoming those fears that makes one courageous. Isn’t purely living, though,Â just worth it? And if we have any faith in anything, shouldn’t it be in the idea that things will be okay as long as we’re following our passions?
(Is money really your passion? Seriously? And how much money is enough and can you honestly say that that number won’t change in the future? What are you reallyÂ chasing, here? What is keeping you from being happy or passionateÂ now? Greed? And if it is – I’m fully supporting that you acknowledge that and come to terms with that, and also whatÂ lies behind that.)
Because comfort – if indeed that’s what we’re all striving for -Â yields complacency and I don’t really know that I want to give myself that sort of cushion. Too often is responsibility equated with not taking risks, or even being bound by theÂ expectations of others or yourself. But as in economics, without risk there just is no reward. Examine where the so-calledÂ obligations came from – does it include saying No to your own wants and needs? I think that if we could simply just be in the business of fulfillment, we’d all be much more … well, fulfilled. And feelings are just as much a part of that as our think patterns.
So when I ask you, “How does that make you feel?” I can’t promise that I’m not being Therapy Worldly Facetious. But now you know that it’s coming from aÂ conversation that’sÂ deep inside and I do mean it seriously on at least some level. 😉 It’s because I’mÂ officially an advocate of feeling and being alive.