Have you ever felt that you were feeling THE WRONG EMOTION?
Let me explain.
My story is this: I got married almost a year ago (which went pretty damn fast) and apparently I am supposed to want to have a baby by now – because that’s what married women are supposed to want when they get married. But I don’t want to have a baby. Well, not yet. The thing is if it happens it happens. But at the moment the thought of having a baby fills me not with a sense of joy, but with a sense of worry. Actually worry isn’t really the right word I am looking for, more like dread. This however is a story for another time.
The point I am trying to make is that people force me to believe that I am feeling THE WRONG EMOTION because I don’t want a baby yet.
I am constantly having the need to explain my choices to people, who if I am honest won’t even be the ones to help us raise our children.
Most of the time, I don’t mind and just ignore these folks but sometimes I get annoyed because at times this questioning makes me feel that my true feelings aren’t legitimate.
They convince me that there is a way that we are supposed to feel about every single life event (some sort of industry standard) and if my feelings deviated from that industry standard, then there was something deeply broken and wrong about me.
I do not believe that anymore.
I can’t believe that anymore otherwise I will go crazy.
We are not machines.
We are people, people.
And we are complex and unique and perfect and true, and there is no one way to feel.
There is a way that culture teaches you that you are supposed to feel….and then there is what you are actually feeling. And if you can’t allow your true feelings to exist, because you’re trying to live within the socially acceptable feeling, then you will suffer, and you will try to cram yourself into the industry standard, or you will try to numb your true feelings, or even worse than that, you will just stop feeling anything at all.
Now, I ask you again – have you ever suffered because you believed you were feeling THE WRONG EMOTION?
For months, I have collected so many stories from friends about their experiences with THE WRONG EMOTION.
I have a friend who stopped reading the news or being involved in activism and politics because he finally said, “Honestly? I don’t care anymore. I just don’t!” WRONG EMOTION!
I have a friend who no longer wanted to be an usher in her church because she finally had to admit that she couldn’t stand the way the congregation treated her anymore: WRONG EMOTION!
I have a friend who finally said, “I hate Christmas, and I’ve always hated Christmas. I’m not doing it anymore.” WHAT?! WRONG EMOTION!
I have a friend who doesn’t feel any regret or sadness or ambivalence about that abortion she had. WHAT?! WRONG EMOTION.
Listen – I want you to learn how to feel what you are feeling — not what you think you are SUPPOSED to feel, but what you ACTUALLY feel.
And we should guide our own life based on that, and only that.
We need to remove the WRONG EMOTION! button from our entire being forever.
I want you to throw away the idea that there is an emotional industry standard, and that you must not deviate from it.
I will no longer inflict upon myself anymore the shame and suffering of questioning my own reactions to life, or burying my own true feelings because I am not feeling what I’m allegedly supposed to feel.
If I feel joy, then that joy is right and real…for me.
If I feel grief, then that grief is right and real…for me.
If I love someone, then that love is right and real…for me.
If I feel mistrust or aversion to people I am supposed to trust and admire, then that feeling of mistrust is right and real…for me. And if I feel admiration for people I’m not supposed to admire, then that feeling of admiration is right and real…for me.
Nobody benefits when I try to make myself feel ways that I do not feel, and nobody benefits when I try to make myself NOT feel ways that I do feel…and nobody benefits when you do that, either.
Feel what you feel, allow your emotions to be legitimate, fearlessly examine your own reactions to your own life, and live your absolute truth — there is no other pathway to integrity than that.
Anything short of that is truly WRONG. (For you.)
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