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 should 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)
• 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