WHEN THE HEART TALKS….
… I should listen
PREVIOUS: “Feelings aren’t facts” (#1)
1. FEELINGS (Part 1)
2. ‘FACTS’: The other problem with this platitude is that these 2 words don’t really belong together (feelings & facts).
a. Facts – are only actions, quantifiable, with measurable results. Simplifies – facts come from the head.
b. Feelings – as pointed out in Part 1, has 3 different meanings.
For people who thing this term (feel) means Emotions (Es) = Es are never ‘facts’ – they are internal experiences – from the gut. Yes, it’s a fact that we have emotions. Even Vulcans have those pesky things, underneath. For humans, to be cut off from them turn us into narcissists or worse – sociopaths!
• Eventually someone in Al-Anon added what they thought was a clarification: “Feelings aren’t facts, but it’s a fact that I’m having these feelings”. OK – this does refer to Emotions. This was encouraging for many of us to hear, because as CoAs we were taught to repress some or all Es – to deny them as irrelevant or unacceptable. So this version gave permission to FEEL emotions. But this is not what the phrase actually means
c. Thoughts are not technically facts either, but ‘constructs’ of the mind – not tangible in themselves. Thoughts are:
• the cause of actions, healthy or unhealthy, depending on the type of thoughts (may not be conscious, but the real reason for behavior), AND
• the source of emotions (in the present): enjoyment, pleasure, relief, comfort
… OR great suffering, caused by distorted or cruel toxic rules, scary projections, unfounded assumptions … which lead to painful emotions for ourselves, & often to destructive actions towards others!
➼ NOTE: Watch out for people who ONLY talk about what they or other people are doing, where they’ve been, who they know, what they’ve accomplished…. Facts, facts, facts! That tells us they are NOT in touch with their emotions, which makes them unsafe in relationships, for anything other than giving information – if that!
CONCLUSION: Based of these distinctions, what does “Feelings are facts” really mean?
ANS: “Our negative, distorted thoughts, beliefs & obsessions are NOT telling us the truth.” Only when understood that way is it a correct statement.
And what do most ACoAs endlessly obsess about ? :
☁︎ EITHER Self-Hate
”I don’t know why he won’t talk to me – why is he ignoring me – was it something I said? Or maybe I should have been nice to him. I probably sat in the wrong chair… I know he doesn’t like me… what can I do to change his mind… “ – bla, bla, bla….
👺 OR Rageful thoughts towards others
“How dare she talk to me like that… Why didn’t he call me….I never did anything to her… I’m going to give her a piece of my mind… I hate her, she’s a witch…. no I’d better not… what should I say… I don’t want to get fired…” grrrrr , grrrrr
❖ Healthy Thinking is imperative to function well in the world & in personal relationships. To do so we need accurate, reasonable & present-day info about how everything really works, what is positive about ourselves, what it means to be human & universal spiritual truths about Higher Power.
EXRESS thoughts, opinions & beliefs, directly:
• “I think that the government should…”
• “That’s not my opinion” • “I wouldn’t say that…”
• “I suspect he’s not going to honor his agreement”
• “I’m convinced there’s a better way to do this project”
❖ Healthy Emotions are NEVER good or bad, but rather range from the very painful <———–0————> to the very joyful. The ‘0’ stands for neutral. We need to aim for living within a range of +5 to -5 on either side of center, most of the time, although not exclusively. This can only happen when healing diminishes our accumulated anxiety so we don’t have to alternate between the ‘outer limits’ of misery or fantasy/illusion! (REVIEW all posts on Emotions)
NEXT: Getting to Our EMOTIONS – Under