[this blog originally posted 5/28/12]
In the office one day I was chatting with two friends about our lives. As with most women in the prime of life, we have all survived rough patches.
While commiserating about how memories of events long past…even those we think we have come to terms with…can surprise us with their power, one of us blurted out, “Feelings are stupid!”
We laughed in agreement and went back to work.
The more I’ve thought about that comment, the more I agree with it.
Feelings, emotions, are incredibly powerful, but they are just not smart. A life guided by emotions is an erratic one, at best.
We are sometimes urged to rely on “gut feelings” in tricky situations, but if those visceral emotions aren’t instincts honed and informed by past experience, observation and rational thought, we might as well flip a coin.
Emotions can be triggered and influenced by random sensations that tickle our subconscious. They give life color and richness, they separate us from the animal kingdom, but they cannot be trusted.
The sixties philosophy “if it feels good, do it” had some tragic consequences and our society continues to deal with the fall out.
A better motto might be “if it feels good, and it hurts no one, and if it is beneficial, then check it out to see if you might enjoy doing it, now and then, in moderation.” Not so hip and edgy, but smarter.
Feelings are like high-spirited two-year-olds…they are great fun, cute as the dickens and require constant supervision.