Before your feelings kick in and you start yelling at me, albeit virtually, or worse, before you click the little ‘x’ and log out — hear me on this:
FEELINGS. ARE. NOT. RELIABLE.
You need some evidence? Stroll down your own memory lane while I do the same.
Remember that time when your heart said “yes” and every girlfriend within a hundred miles said, “Run. Run fast. Run far. Dude is a douchebag!” — and you just had to prove them wrong and then a few weeks later they were the ones surrounding you while you cried for days after he stomped all over your wishes and dreams and… well, you know, shattered your heart and all your feelings?
Remember the days in Jr Hi when you were up one minute, down the next — when you had friends at lunchtime but no one called you to include you in weekend plans — when your mother, who you adored when she took you shopping and was your worst enemy when she said “you’re not wearing that!” — when you were laughing hysterically over nothing at all and then crying over pretty much the same thing an hour later? Ah, those were the days, weren’t they? When your nose didn’t fit your face, when your uncertainties and insecurities threatened to overpower you and often succeeded, when your mind, desperately seeking reason, couldn’t find it because the clouds of fear, anger, or even elation made it impossible to see…
Remember when you didn’t feel like being nice anymore, and let your ‘real’ self out of the bag?
Remember mouthing off to your parents over some perceived injustice?
Remember flipping someone the bird on the highway and then worrying over whether that driver might have more road rage than you?
Remember when infatuation ebbed and you were left with the daily act of choosing love when you didn’t really feel like it?
Remember the other day when you lost sight of reason — AGAIN! — and posted a comment on social media? Remember the firestorm you started!?!?!
“Feelings. Nothing more than feelings...” (oh, man. this song is so bad…)
“Nothing more than feelings” is an insult to all the emotions. Emotions are powerful. Wonderful. Enjoyable. Necessary, in fact. Where would we be without them?
Sure, sure, we need to think things through. I know that full well. I like a logical conclusion to a matter as much as the next guy. Well, not as much as my engineer husband does. Not even close…
Confession: I love a good cry. My self-righteous anger satisfies like none other – at least for the moments I’m sitting atop my high horse. And giddy, glorious joy? Give me all of that, please. Where would we be without emotions? While participating in a writing cohort a few years ago, I was described this way: “Becky Fields feels all of the feelings. At the same time.” Truth.
No doubt about it, we have emotions, and most of us are not afraid to use them. But these days, it seems that our emotions rule the day. Rule the airwaves. Rule the twitters, the facebooks, and even the dingdang instagrams, which was supposed to be about photos, and has unfortunately morphed into including lengthy commentaries full of emotion-based opinions that frankly ruin the photo that I was all set to ‘heart.’
It’s ridiculously easy to sit in front of a screen and let ‘er fly, isn’t it? Opine with impunity. Give this comment a ‘like’ — give that post a ‘smiley face’ — give that person a “piece of your mind to feast upon” when what you’re really offering is an emotional tirade intended to stir others up into never before seen fits of faux rage. Is this any way to be friends? Real OR Virtual?????
And that’s why I’ve said it before, and I’ll say again — FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS GO WITH THEIR FEELINGS on Social Media!!!
Nope. Friends sit down with each other face-to-face, instead of pretending to be relational and meaningful on Facebook. Friends go to the mattresses if they need to and battle out the hard stuff together, rather than stirring divisiveness in 280 characters or less. Sure, friends disagree sometimes. And yeah, it might get loud and intense. There may be a few tears; voices might be raised; there could be some raucous laughter, a few hugs or high fives; for certain there’ll be nostalgic reminiscence and plans for tomorrow — the gamut of friendship, played out in shared space and time. Emotions and feelings where they belong — strengthening relationships and balancing reason.
Sometimes our reasoning is flawed, and sometimes our feelings go berserk. But friends… Well, friends steer us clear of the pitfalls and landmines. Friends pry our eyes open and help us see more clearly. Friends keep us grounded, or fly with us to the moon. Friends might even ‘like’ the pictures we post of the trip! But they don’t let us lose our S#!t on social media.
What kind of ‘friend’ would do that?