Feelings Are A Bit Like The Weather

By Nancy Pollard, LCSW, LLC
 
Nancy Pollard

We have a saying in Park City, that if you don’t like the weather, just wait a couple of hours and you will.  And change it does; it can go from sunny blue skies to thunderous rain filled clouds or from no snow to five feet in five days. The weather can makes us ecstatic to depressed. Thinking about the weather, makes me think about feelings in general.
 
Feelings are a bit like the weather.  They come and they go.  For some, their feelings take them on a roller coaster ride. Some people say they don’t have feelings, or that they don’t DO feelings, but that is impossible.  For feelings live inside and sometimes never get expressed until an explosion. The more you stuff your feelings, the more they can spill out in unexpected places at unexpected times.  As the book titles states, Feeling Buried Alive Never Die.

Whether you stuff your feelings or express your feelings, one thing is for certain; your feelings belong to you.  Others are not responsible for your feelings, or you responsible for theirs.  Sammy doesn’t hurt your feelings; you choose to feel hurt, or angry, sad or resentful. Some complain that you have too many feelings and are too sensitive. What is the appropriate amount of feelings to have? Or do you have too many feelings for his or her comfort level?

Happy and sad feelings seem to get tolerated the best, as long as the sad feelings don’t last too long. The goal with sad feelings is to make the sadness go away as quickly as possible.  Angry feelings are often forbidden. You must go to your room, stuff or hide them.  Little boys can be angry but not cry.  Little girls can cry but not get angry.  None of these statements are true!

Feelings are not facts but they are real. If you say, “I am sad”, then you are saying you are always, every minute of every day, sad.  More accurately stated, “I am experiencing sadness right now”…knowing that it will pass.  In managing your feelings, it is critical to detach from the feeling rather than to become the feeling.  If you believe that you ARE depressed, then surely you will be.  If you witness your feeling, it will pass like the weather.

In relationships, couples often argue their feelings. “You hurt me”. You blame the other person for the feeling, rather than take responsibility for it.  Or you try and argue someone out of their feeling instead of validating it, going ‘round and ‘round, never truly getting to the facts of the problem.

It is important to not make decisions based on feelings, but on facts.  You should not leave someone because today you feel anger towards him. For chances are tomorrow you will like him again.  You leave someone because you want to leave.  In contrast, you should not be with her just because you love her; you should be with her because you want to be with her.

People say ‘I feel’ when in truth they ‘think’ it.  “I feel she is completely wrong” accurately stated is, I think she is completely wrong.  If you ask yourself how does thinking it make you feel, then you can get closer to what is actually going on for you, sort out the true feeling and deal with it appropriately.  For example, feeling depressed is a catchall remark.  Examined more closely the feeling could be one of loneliness, hurt, sadness or plain old fatigue.  It you are truly tired, rest is the remedy, not a diagnosis of depression.

Little children are the best at doing their feelings.  They don’t analyze, think, deny or control their feelings …until they are taught to!  They feel the feeling and then they are through with it.  As John Gray says in his book, if you can feel it, then you can heal it.

When you have a feeling ask yourself:

  • What are you telling yourself?  
  • Examine to see if the thought is true?
  • Treat feelings as something you experience, not something that you are. 
  • Detach yourself from the feeling rather than becoming it.
  • Learn how to express, not stuff, your feelings.
  • Feel the feeling and let it go.
Feelings will blow away like the wind, erupt like a storm and if expressed appropriately, free you up to be a more loving person. Consider, waiting a couple of hours, the feeling could change, like the weather.

Just a little Mountain Therapy

Copyright © 2015 Nancy Pollard

 

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