Feelings, my friends, are not Facts…

When I first realized this many years ago, I was quite shocked by the truth of the statement.  As human beings, it is our job to assign emotion to everything and everyone in life.  The connection of emotion is what makes us human.  Our emotions filter our interpretation of truth and fact.  If I was to say:  the sun was a bright pinky-yellow this morning as it rose, many of you would conjure some type of emotion associated with a past sunrise that you encountered, thus your interpretation of past sunrises is painted with your version of the truth of those sunrises.

It’s pretty harmless to have your own filtered version of a sunrise, however, where we can get in to trouble is when we take life affecting moments, immersed in emotion, and consider our emotions around those moments’ facts.  It is easy to get in a goodhealthV2-paperrelicscycle of over-thinking about a person, event, or issue when there are a lot of conflicting or overpowering emotions involved.  We get sucked in to thinking our reality-filtered by our emotions-is fact.  Our reality is not necessarily the reality we should be taking in to account.  Our emotions tug us in the direction of a heart’s desire or a financial need or a family burden.  The need or want attached to those things give us a distorted version of what is.  Our minds trick us in to thinking the feeling-filtered perception is fact because that is easiest to believe.  Face it, as humans we are very attached to our feelings and we are all, to a degree, egocentric.  “My ideas, ways of doing things, beliefs are the best…”  If we didn’t buy in to our own beliefs and patterns we would be wrecks.

What do you do then, when you may be in a cycle of over-thinking or uncertainty over some emotionally charged issue?  You aren’t sure what is fact and what is your emotion-induced fiction, swaying you in the direction of your heart?  You journal.  Get out your Traveler Notebook and start writing down the emotions you are feeling, the raw facts you know for sure, your perceptions of the facts, and any feedback you might garner from close associates.  Add it all up, sum up the information, write from a third person perspective, dispassionately with  neutral observations, then take a step back.  Leave it, walk away, let the thoughts settle.  Ponder them on a long walk, over a hot cup of tea, remember to believe in your own best self and return to your written words.  You will, I promise, have gained a perspective.  Write it down, the unfiltered perceptions and why your emotions tugged at you so much.  Remember however, even though feelings are not facts, they are what make us gloriously human, so beautiful and fragile, and each emotion is worth feeling and savoring.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alissa
    Mar 20, 2015 @ 15:19:17

    Wow this was on point today for me.
    I am struggling with my “factual” awful childhood the damage it caused, the warped perception I have about myself and the “truth” as it is now. Separating the 2 is nearly impossible because of the emotions attached to all the previous abuses.
    I will try as you suggest and see if it helps me.
    Sometimes I believe I would rather live as a hermit than face another human.

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    • joyisachoice29
      Mar 20, 2015 @ 15:25:57

      It is always easier to believe the worst about ourselves than the best….keep challenging your perceptions and deeply ingrained beliefs that may actually be what others said to you (THEIR faulty perceptions) and you then, believed as truth. You can do it. Sometimes we have to take life a minute at a time. I wish you the very best Alissa. Thank you for reading and sharing.

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