Most of us would rather feel happy than sad. Bad feelings feel – wrong. Often however, they’re a normal, natural part of life. They can even be useful. Example: ‘I feel like I’m going to be sick ‘ may lead me to deduce that my prawns are past their sell-by/I’m pregnant/I should get off this yacht/I’m not enjoying the film.
Go Team Feeling.
But before we take up our pompoms, let’s remember that our emotions may also tell us a pack of (horse-free) porkies: ‘I feel like another four mojitos will make me more interesting’. ‘I feel like my sister will understand if I borrow her car/shoes/boyfriend etc’.
In their place, feelings are fine. But left unchallenged,they try to take over the world – or at least, the portion ruled by your brain.
Imagine. Your imaginary boyfriend has dumped you, the phone is ringing, your pen has leaked, your client is shouting, you’re on a long haul flight to a class reunion and you’ve just discovered that there are snakes on the plane.
Now add to the equation someone who looks just like you, only with a foghorn. Every time you try to make the situation better, they shout the following:
It’s you against the world
It’s not worth it
You’re a failure at everything you do
You let everyone down
Everyone else is fine
You need to pull yourself together
You are pathetic and weak
Your life is a mess
Your future is bleak
There’s something really wrong with you
You should be a much better person
You can’t go on
Nothing will ever feel good again
Lots of different lies. But one big un’ that underpins them all: how you feel is who you are.