… I should listen

: “Feelings aren’t facts” (#1)

SITEs: • How to listen to the heart
• Diff between feel, think, believe

POSTs : Use THINK instead of Feel

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. Simplified – facts come from the head.
b. Feelings – as pointed out in Part 1, has 3 different uses, 2 legit, 1 not.

For people who use this term – ‘feelings’ means Emotions (Es) and 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 “Feelings aren’t facts” actually means.

c. Thoughts (Ts) are not technically facts either, but rather ‘constructs’ of the mind – not tangible in themselves. They are:
• the cause of emotions (in the present) :
EXP : T ⏩ “I can’t believe she never called me back. What a b— I’m so angry!” ⏪ E
Unrealistic expectations, cruel toxic rules, scary projections, unfounded assumptions & S-H … lead to distorted thinking & obsessions, which cause great suffering for ourself, & often to unfair or harmful actions towards others!
• the cause of actions, healthy or unhealthy, depending on the type (may not be conscious, but the real reason for behavior)
✒︎ 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: In this case ‘Feelings’ are obsessions, circular repetitive thinking built on negative, distorted beliefs, and NOT emotions at all! which are not telling us the truth (facts) about a situation.”
✒︎ In other words : “What my obsessions are telling me are a pack of lies.”

And what do most ACoAs endlessly obsess about ? :
☁︎ EITHER Self-Hate
”I don’t know why he won’t talk to me – why is she ignoring me – was it something I said? Maybe I bad thoughtsshould have been nicer to her.  I probably sat in the wrong chair… I know he doesn’t like me… what can I do to change their mind… “  –  bla, bla, bla….

👺 OR Rageful thoughts towards others
“How dare she treat 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 for us to function well in the world & in personal relationships. This requires :
• accurate, reasonable & present-day information about how everything really work   • what our needs, goals & dreams are
• what is positive about ourself (character & abilities)
• what it means to be human (determined, imperfect) images-4
• 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.  ‘0’ is neutral.
✒︎ We’re most successful & comfortable when we live within a range of +5 to -5 on either side of center, most of the time, although not exclusively. Times of great stress OR great joy will push the range much higher or lower, but not get stuck at either extreme.
☆ This medium state can only happen when healing diminishes 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


Even if I have to make you up

PREVIOUS: ACoAs abandoning OTHERS (3b)

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


• Another dysfunctional way to cope with the painful fact that our parents were not safe (nurturing, emotionally honest, mentally clear…)
• A way to survive back then. Some part of our child-mind had to make them perfect, without flaws – to deny how angry & scared we were at them, & still are
• A form of splitting off the good parts of ourselves & the bad parts of them – an overt or covert toxic agreement in childhood, with the family, that we were the bad ones & they the good ones.

All small children idealize their parents, which helps them feel safe. If they grow up in a healthy family this safety allows them to cope with reality, gradually able see the adults more realistically, with both weakness & strengths.

But for us – from the very beginning our parents disappointed us when we most needed them to be our ‘gods’ so we’d feel protected. Not only did they not help us deal with the outside world, but were the ‘enemy within’.  (➡️ IMAGE from “See Mom for who she is, not who you want her to be

To compensate now, some ACoAs idealize others, even strangers, as a way to shut out the WIC’s earliest terror still lurking in the bushes of our unconscious, BY:
a. Putting anyone – who we feel is important – on a pedestal (parent, teacher, lover, friend, boss…), not able or willing to acknowledge their real personality, including human limitations & damage (character defects) – UNTIL that person does something that pushes a big button in us, & then we feel rage at them. The illusion we created is shattered & we can’t tolerate it. So we punish them &/or cut them off.

EXP: Carol started a new class & was immediately in awe of the professor.  She began staying after class, asking all sorts of questions, unconsciously flirting a little. The teacher became less & less responsive or available.  Carol kept trying to hold his attention, but finally felt the rejection, became very angry & stormed off, telling everyone else what a jerk he was.

b. VARIATION: Making a new lover the “Answer to all my prayers!” Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 6.51.05 PMBelieving ‘This is the one!” OR immediately making a new friend into a BFF, without taking the time to find out :
• are they actually who they seem to be?
• who this person really is (character & type)

• how you’ll feel about them, in a year or less
• what personal problems they may have
• how their ‘issues’ are going to affect you
• how will your issues impact them?
• AND, if we’re fundamentally compatible!

➼ To know that, we need to have a clear sense of ourselves, good boundaries, reasonable self-esteem, not too much anxiety about abandonment, tolerate imperfections & have the ability to ‘go slow’. PHEUW!
BTW, we may find someone willing to play out the fantasy with us (some for a while, some much longer), because they too need to be symbiotic, feel needed, overly-important…anything to not focus on themselves & their issues. This does not diminish our responsibility for playing our emotional games.

• This kind of ‘jumping into’… comes from an intense need of the WIC to symbiotically attach, to fill the emptiness left by inadequate mothering in early life.
The human person we now choose to idealize will:Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 6.51.46 PM
— EITHER be someone who is similar in damage to our own family – the hope being that this time we can fix them & so get their love & approval, even if we can’t get it from our family.
We only end up (unconsciously) playing out our abandonment / victim role – since we can’t fix others or con them into loving us

— OR someone who is or seems to be completely the opposite of family – stable, competent, smart, nice….so we can finally be taken care of!  Even if they do, for a while, we pay too high a price – being controlled & staying immature.
But usually such people are too healthy to rescue us at all, so we get disappointed again, but not as much.

• Either way we’re trying to get from others today what we couldn’t get originally, but no one can’t make up for our losses! We need to heal from the inside.

NEXT: ACoAs abandoning others (3b)