Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Emotions... How Do You Feel Today?

This is much longer than what I usually post.  For that, I apologize but there are some things here that I just had to say.  

It took me a long time to discover that sometimes when you say something or do something that other people's perception can be completely different than the intentions that you had behind it.  Sometimes I speak without thinking about it and ultimately unintentionally end up offending someone.  And sometimes I have a hard time in letting those situations go.  It makes me feel stupid and horrible when I do that.  It's one thing to intentionally try to hurt someone, but completely different when there is no harm intended and I hurt someone's feelings.

Believe it or not I am an extremely empathetic person.  I hate to see another person in pain or upset.  At the same time, somewhere along my life path I have lost the ability to show my emotions.  The consequences of that ability loss can cause me to appear cold and closed off, uncaring and unfeeling to a lot of people.  They can view me as a robot that never shows any emotional changes.  Truth is I'm far from it.  There are a wave of emotions within me that I think sometimes lose out when processed through logic, experience and common sense.  My heart tells me one thing but my brain overrides it.  My most dreaded question has always been: "How do you feel?"

Emotions are tricky but at the same time, you can't change the way you feel deep within yourself about anything at any given moment.  Anger, fear, pain and disappointment can possibly fade with time.  Those are the ones that can creep up unexpectedly and cause the most damage to your life.  The ones we all dread the most because they are the ones that are the most uncomfortable to us and can cause us to lose control of ourselves.  You never hear of anyone committing a crime or doing something horrible because they were extremely happy.  It is always the one who kills because they were angry or in pain.  People steal out of the fear of losing something and to avoid the disappointment of others.

People can talk about their emotions all day long but I really don't believe that just talking about them will change anything about how they feel in certain situations.  You can give the appearance of change but is there really a difference in the way you feel deep within yourself when thinking or talking about certain instances and experiences?  Just because you know the origin of your reactions and the answer to the question why does not mean that it changes the way you feel about it or the way you will react to it.  Does it?

They say the way that we view and react to things as adults can be traced back to personal experiences throughout our lives, including from when we were children.  I guess that does make sense.  I burned my hand pretty bad on a ceramic topped stove climbing up to get a pop tart out of the cabinet once as a child and have never put my hand on a burner since.  I once found out that a guy I was absolutely crazy about was still double dipping between me and another woman from a photograph on Facebook even after I gave him numerous chances.  I took a few ass kickings from one and had my bank account more than cleaned out by another.  Needless to say all of the experiences that I've had in my life have led me to be the person that I am today.  But, I'm no different than anyone else except for my experiences may have been different.  We are all a result of everything that experience has taught us over our lifetimes, a product of our environments and the ultimate choices that we make because of it.

Emotions are not a subject that a lot of people like to talk about.  I know that I can become extremely uncomfortable at times when the subject comes up.  But your emotions about any given situation are never wrong, for you.  It is exactly how you feel and when someone doesn't feel the same way that you do, human nature tells them that you are wrong… even though in reality, you aren't.  I think this is where a lot of people have trouble.  We have given this problem the nickname "Live and Let Live."  Religion and Politics are a good example.  Not everyone FEELS the same about it and it has even gone as far as to cause fights and spark wars.  It has caused hatred and misunderstanding when instead it could have led to nothing if the other person's emotions would have been respected on both sides.  It makes me sick inside to think of how many people in this world have actually been killed because of the way they felt about something that someone else doesn't agree with.  

When someone express their feelings, someone else tells them that they are wrong so they second guess how they feel unless they choose to do what I usually do and show no emotion whatsoever.  I have also learned to run the situation through my mind first and make the attempt to look at it from the other person's perspective before deciding how I ultimately feel about it and if a reaction is necessary or will help at all.  Sometimes that is called picking your battles, or the innate reaction that we all have built inside our brains as a means of self preservation.  You have probably heard it called fight or flight.  Emotions really are difficult.  Especially when you know that it will ultimately spark some sort of conflict that will bring on other emotions on top of it.  Emotions like anger, disappointment and frustration.  Sometimes I think it just isn't worth the energy.

We all have our skeletons in our closets, things that we have experienced whether they are good or bad, that can and often does haunt us for the rest of our lives.  No one ever promised us a perfect experience with life.  We all have the gift of free will and make our choices every day whether to use our experiences for the betterment of ourselves and the others around us.  I love having choices.  It is one of the things that make us feel free.  Take away the experiences of our lives and the choices that come because of them and what do we have left and how much of our lives will change?  Changing one split second of your experiences will change everything from then on forward, including some of the most wonderful experiences of our lives.

I always say that I have no regrets and this is true.  Along with some of the most sour moments that made my heart feel like it was being ripped out of my chest, have come some of the most beautiful things I have ever had the privilege of experiencing.  I've experienced love in its deepest form, more than once in a few different ways, which is the most amazing and indescribable emotion that you can ever experience.  I've experienced joy and amazement.  Excitement and happiness, all scattered along my 39 years.  Those are the moments that I live for and I hold onto deep within my heart.  Those are the moments that I think of when I can feel the ugliness of the memories of the other coming back.

But I can't help but sometimes wonder "What if?"  Even though my mother has always told me that the "What if" doesn’t count.  I know it doesn't but I can't help but think about what would have happened had I made a few different decisions in my life.

A couple of years ago I thought for sure that my demons had been defeated.  Quickly
learning that I was wrong, but I have learned how to cage them in a sense.  It's a bit odd but today I view them as my warning system.  They protect me and keep me from entering into a similar scenario that brings along the bad that comes with it like a second thought or the feeling of de ja vous.  This is where I was molded to, using the pain from past experience to choose which path to take when the choice is presented.  It isn't necessarily the path less traveled but when you want to go forward, you can never go back.  That's just the way it is.

Human beings are always fearful of what they don't understand.  Maybe that is why a lot of people do not have their emotions in check or become easily overwhelmed with them.  We don't know why our emotions exist, but they are there and are a large factor of why we do the things we do every day.  You can't get away from them, that's a given.  But we can sometimes take a moment and examine them before allowing them to run our lives because everything and I mean EVERYTHING that we do is based on some sort of emotion.  Not one decision is made without some sort of emotion guiding our decision.  They say to don't get emotionally involved in something.  Well… that's impossible.  We are emotionally involved in everything that we experience with our senses and that is everything.  It's just that some emotional reactions are more subtle and we don't even realize that they are happening.

Emotions are a gift and curse.  All wrapped up into one single package.  We can't avoid them because most of us are controlled by them.  I guess it's just like everything else in life.  It is what you make it.  So learn to make it the best that you possibly can and think before you act.


  1. You make me think, Lanie...
    Yes, we are very much defined by what we have gone through. We can also change though.
    Cheer up and have a good day!

  2. Wow really well thought out post. A rhyme really wouldn't do here..haha.

    And yeah the what if is a load of bull because if you had the what if, you'd be thinking about the what if you have now. Plus if you think about it, changing one little thing would change everything. Even something like stubbing your toe, those ten seconds or so you hop around in pain could change everything.

    Yeah humans are nuts, as long as no one is hurting anyone, they should believe what they want to believe and let them alone. But oh no have to cause some big war or something.

    Oh and thieves do it because they are lazy too, to lazy to get a real job so they steal from others, hate them..lol..can you tell I've dealt with them before..lol

    Really well done post!

  3. 'Our characters are the result of our conduct.'
    - Aristotle

    This is what my calendar says today.

    For me the point is in the fact that everything (every thing) can be changed, fortunately. Even when our feelings make us do wrong things - we can always make it right.

    As long as there is another day, that is :)


Say want you want but be nice or be gone. :)