Feeling My Way Through Life

“It is the mind which creates the world around us, and even though we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours, my heart will never stir to the emotions with which yours is touched.” ~George Gissing
 
I am a highly emotional person. Some call it a sensitive nature, others heightened awareness. Emotions have been my weakness most of my life. I wore my heart on my sleeve, and I still do. My feelings are easily hurt as I tend to take things personally. I have tried so hard to hide my feelings, but I’ve learned that it is a useless battle. I suppose that maybe emotions have kept me honest. I could never lie and get away with it. When people deal with me , they know exactly what they’re up against. If you’re someone I love, there is no doubt in your mind. In recent years, I’ve found emotions to also be my strongest asset as it allows me to function on a different level. How can it be both? It is like a shadow that pulls and stretches and takes on a life of its own if I allow it.

I feel things deeply, not just my emotions but other peoples’ as well. I’m not just the friend who cries and laughs with you, but I’m the stranger that cries and laughs with you, too. I am able to put myself in someone else’s shoes. This has helped me develop compassion, but it has also put me in the position of being used by others. Like anything else in life, it is a learning process. Most times I can see into people which keeps me from being manipulated. Even if it doesn’t I usually learn and prevent it from happening again with the same person.

Emotions enable me to make every situation all about me. Many of the things that upset me actually have very little to do with me. I have to step back and remind myself of this. When I am able to detach the “me” from the moment, I can see things in a different perspective, one that is much clearer. It has been a difficult concept for me to accomplish. I am able to do it deliberately, but I have been unable to just be that way at all times. If I look back later at specific occurrences, I find that I overreact due to my emotional state. If I wait to speak or react to any given instance, I am better off. My emotions often change on the particular subject. Sometimes, I don’t have all the facts, and sometimes I am just not in the best frame of mind.

I find if I don’t think and I just am, I am at peace. It’s the thinking that welcomes the chaos of conflicting emotions. Maybe it’s simply being able to separate ego and emotion from the moment. Is it a matter of my emotions controlling me or me controlling my emotions? It has taken me a lifetime of work, and I have not accomplished it.

Emotions are expressed differently by everyone. At least, I have learned not to judge others for not feeling the same way I do about certain circumstances. I realize we are individuals with different genetics, personalities, conditioning, and belief systems. Our difference of emotions doesn’t make me or you right or wrong…it just makes us individuals.

Given the choice of being oblivious and not feeling anything at all or feeling sorrow to the point of suffering and joy to pure elation, I choose to feel my way through life. I’m not saying this because I am a deep feeler. I was once on a medication that gave me a “don’t care” attitude about everything. I only stayed on it a couple of weeks. I couldn’t live without compassion nor would I want to. I don’t understand some peoples lack of compassion, but I remind myself that it is not my job to be concerned with it. I also know that caring too much invites pain. Maybe it’s a personal decision as to whether it is worth it or not.

I will probably continue to struggle with detaching myself from situations and not letting my emotions get in the way of making decisions. I will probably continue to follow my heart in most circumstances. I will probably continue to be embarrassed by my public displays of emotions and try unsuccessfully to keep them in check. If there is a plus side, I know I have these issues. I also know how to distance myself. It’s a matter of applying this knowledge and actually wanting to live that way. Besides, it takes a lot of work, and I’m lazy. I don’t like exhausting myself. I’m worn out from just thinking about it!

40 thoughts on “Feeling My Way Through Life

  1. Pingback: Feeling My Way Through Life (via The Water Witch’s Daughter) « Change is Never Ending

  2. So much better to feel than to be numb, uncaring, insensitive. More painful, yes, but also more joyous. Your emotions are what allow you to write the way you do, to be the person you are. Both are very good things.

  3. When I am mindful of the moment, I find that I am able to CHOOSE the appropriate emotion rather than re-acting based on how I felt in similar situations in the PAST.

    It’s not a question of being FEELING or being INSENSITIVE, NUMB, and UNCARING.

    Just the opposite. The Dalai Lama is full of loving compassion and kindness. He allows e-motions to surface, he observes them fully, he consciously acts by choosing the right response, and then he lets them go.

    He LAUGHS and feels JOY, and he feels SORROW. But he doesn’t allow his e-motions to rule his life. He allows them to do what they are supposed to do . . . MOVE us to conscious and deliberate actions.

      • Sorry. That’s a typo. Emotions arise on their own. I meant I choose my response.

        If I feel sad, that’s a signal that something is amiss.
        If I feel anger, that’s a signal.
        Same with frustration, etc.

        I observe the signal, consider whether it’s worth paying attention to, and then let it go so that I can choose the best possible response.

  4. You say, “Emotions enable me to make every situation all about me. Many of the things that upset me actually have very little to do with me. I have to step back and remind myself of this. When I am able to detach the “me” from the moment, I can see things in a different perspective, one that is much clearer.”

    So true. We can retrain ourselves to see things as they are, and accept them as they are, without getting our feathers ruffled by the intentional, and unintentional, “dive bombers” we encounter along the way.

    If you’re interested:
    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/ompm-hanging-on-to-anger/

  5. I am very emotional, too, Suzi. I really don’t want to be ruled by my emotions. I try to make up my mind how I want to respond to things that happen. If I don’t respond the way I think I should, I take note of my variance and go on with life. This often happens, my missing the mark, I mean. God loves me anyway. He’s not shocked by my failure to achieve my goals. I say, be easy on ourselves, but steer in the direction we want to go. Blessings to you, Suzi…

  6. Suzi, you are not alone. My emotions are all over my face, all the time. Tears have been a big nuisance for the past few years as they flow every day sometimes for the smallest of things (I tend to blame it on hormonal swings, but being on the verge of tears – sometimes for dumb things – has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember). And, when I am really frustrated and there is someone around to listen to me, my thoughts and emotions pour out of my mouth, too.
    I know stifling all those emotions and thoughts, hiding it all away is not healthy, but, like you, I would like to feel a little bit more control over when and where and how all those emotions come tumbling out of me. Emotions sure are tiring!

  7. There’s a big difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge, isn’t there? Our heads know that what we ‘feel’ right this minute could easily be an overreaction, but our hearts don’t always jump on that ‘wait and think’ bandwagon. You’re right that it’s all about learning to pull yourself back just a little bit and think before you let yourself be swamped with negative emotions. It’s definitely work, though!

    • Yes, my head tells me one thing and the heart another! Somtimes, I try to just find a middle road, but it takes a lot of practice to pause and start again.

  8. The more I read of you the more I see our similarities, Suzi.

    You could have been describing ME in this post, because I’m exactly the same way.

    “I feel things deeply, not just my emotions but other peoples’ as well.”

    Yup!

    “If I look back later at specific occurrences, I find that I overreact due to my emotional state. If I wait to speak or react to any given instance, I am better off. ”

    Meeeeee too! I’m learning to ‘pause’ before reacting, because if I don’t I will often react unconstructively.

    “Given the choice of being oblivious and not feeling anything at all or feeling sorrow to the point of suffering and joy to pure elation, I choose to feel my way through life.”

    You said it! Even though being emotional has it’s challenges, I would much rather FEEL, than not feel. I’m Italian…and we Italians MUST feel everything – HA!

    Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing.

    X

  9. I get sympathy pains. It’s true. My friend breaks her foot…and I have foot pain for a week. My sister gets a rash…I itch for three days. Funny how the mind deals with emotion.

  10. Thank you for sharing this and writing this, Suzicate. You’ve put into words what I cannot. I am such an emotionally person, too, and over time, I’ve had to learn to except that it is simply who I am.

  11. I’m a pretty emotional person and have ALWAYS taken things personally, including things that happen to others. Talk about being self-involved, eh? I’ve been working on slowing down and not jumping to conclusions about people’s intentions. I have to remind myself that I’ve often misspoken and can honestly say I never set out to purposely hurt someone. I can only assume that the same thing happens to others at times. It’s helping. Great post! 🙂
    Mindy
    http://www.thesuburbanlife.com

  12. Suzicate, I relate to the sentiment here. I’ve never been a “poker” face. I believe in the authentic life, so I don’t hide from my own emotions. The most telling part of this piece is that you not only cry/laugh with your friends, but also strangers. I believe that demonstrates a higher sense of self and willingness to empathize and sympathize with others; this is refreshing because I find that society is so me-centric.

  13. I can really identify with this! I’m very sensitive, not only when it comes to my own thoughts and emotions, but those of others as well. Sometimes it can be a blessing… other times a curse!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s