Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Feelings....fuzzy little feelings

"It doesn't really matter how you feel" - that's one of my favorite sentences ever :)

This can be a "touchy" subject (couldn't help myself), but their is truth behind the veil.
My feelings get the best of me. Not as often as they used to, but still I can get lost in how I feel.
Obviously, a lot of this has to do with just growing up and maturing as a human being,
but some of us just don't quite get a grip until later in life, and then again some of us never get a grip.
I was the worst of the worst. I would most always say "well that's just how I feel!!!"
I can't help it, that's how I "feel". Which basically means, I have no control over how I "feel".
My feelings are stronger than reality. They take over and I have no control. I say things compulsively
based on how I feel. I do things compulsively based on how I feel. My feelings justify my reactive behavior. If you hurt my feelings, I will hurt yours. I will cry and be sad.
Most often, their is no rhyme or reason to my feelings.
I over react, and often my feelings don't quite match up with the reality of the situation.
Just for understanding sake, here is a piece of definition from Wikipedia on "feel":

"Perception of the physical world does not necessarily result in a universal reaction among receivers (see emotions), but varies depending on one's tendency to handle the situation, how the situation relates to the receiver's past experiences, and any number of other factors. Feelings are also known as a state of consciousness, such as that resulting from emotions, sentiments or desires."

So......perception of the physical world does not necessarily result in a universal reaction?

You mean, that not everyone gets the same feelings from the same situation?
I guess that's why I am always looking for justification and rationalization for my feelings!
I am hoping to find someone else that sees this reaction of mine to be honest and real.
Because....here it is....wait for it........

My feelings may not align with reality.
Which means I may have a distorted understanding of the truth.
My feelings have a lot to do with my past experiences.
Which means I am not having this new experience right now, I am having
the same experience over and over from my past. I am judging.

Their are 3 sides to the truth.
Remember the Brady Bunch?
The kids would get into trouble- by breaking a vase in the house.
All we know is the vase is broken. Then the parents question the boys and girls on who
broke the vase. The boys have a story that shows that the girls broke the vase.
Then the girls have a story that proves the boys broke the vase.
Then Alice walks in and says she saw the dog come in and break the vase - the truth.
Silly, but a good way of looking at the 3 sides of the truth.
Your version, my version, reality.

I get upset or hurt over a situation. That happens to all of us.
In the past, I would just go with my feelings. I would indulge in anger and resentment.
I'd obsess over the situation. It would consume me. I'd have every right to "feel"
that way. I would never stop and think about the situation from an honest view point.
I would never ask an outsider for their input.
Today, things are different for me.
I am not allowed the luxury of "feelings".
I have learned from my past, that my feelings are never in tune.
When I first cleaned up, they were so out of whack!
I would get angry at anything and sad over nothing. Then when something truthfully sad or awful happened, I would not feel at all. I would be numb. Because ultimately, I don't want to feel
in the real world. I want to create my own feelings to enjoy for my self centered ego, I certainly don't want to take part in the real world with honest feelings of the life around me.
I would put drugs and alcohol in to cover up my real feelings, and then crazily over react to smallest things in life.
Perception is part of my disease. I do not always see the truth.
Like the Brady Bunch story - their is really only one truth.
But, I may not be privy to the truth always.
I may see it one way, you may see it another, and then an outsider may step in and reveal the truth to us both. Over time, I have learned to not trust my feelings, and in return my feelings have become more in tune.  It is a process.
It's one of those baffling struggles in life - I can't get credit until I have credit :)
Once I learn to question my feelings, and understand that I misjudge situations everyday,
my feelings will start to be more truthful. And truthfully, my feelings will become more calm.
I will not over react so much, I will just kinda ride in the middle lane, and that is a very good place to be!  My life before recovery was quite a roller coaster. The highs were REALLY high and the lows
were the LOWEST of LOWS! Today, most of my life is just medium. That may seem boring to some of you. You might think, that doesn't sound like so much fun, but it is the truth, and the truth will set you free. Freedom from my over reactive, inexplicable, ridiculous feelings.
When I get a strong feeling today, i question the validity. I call my sponsor or talk to a friend.
I ask them what they think of the situation. Am I over reacting? Why am I feeling so strongly?
The most powerful men and women in the world follow this process.
They have advisers. Before they make decisions, they talk to others to see if they are on track.
to sum it all up- most often it "just doesn't matter how I feel".
I have to carry on with my life. I have to do my work and take care of my responsibilities, regardless of how I feel. That is what being responsible is all about.
I have learned that feelings are like the special effects of life.
If we watched a movie and we heard gun shots and explosions but no one was shooting a gun or their were no bombs, it would be very out of place. If we saw them shooting guns and big bombs were being dropped but their were birds chirping and happy music playing- it would be really strange.
Special effects in a movie are their to enhance the story, if they were not in sync
it would be confusing.
The more awareness I achieve in my life, the stronger the state of consciousness.
The more the truth will be revealed to me.
I am thankful to the recovery process for helping me to get my feelings in sync with the reality of my life today.