Saturday, August 11, 2012

Feelings ... wo wo wo feeeelings ...

Anyone else remember that classic song "Feelings" by some guy?  No wonder I reject feelings - I was scarred for life by that song!

Anyway, it's been hard to come up with a blog topic lately - mostly because I've been way too scattered from being busy to think of much coherent, but also because the crap that floats through my brain is all on those topics I don't blog about.  I used to be able to say that I would be glad when the election is over, but I swear the political b.s. (lying, scheming, and making no effort to further community or national goals because we're too busy name calling) just goes on continually nowadays, but of course it is way worse in a presidential election year. 

Last night at my Al Anon meeting, there was a reading about the need to think before we speak - that airing things out unfiltered can cause untold damage.  True enough.  But what struck me was the flip side - that by thinking TOO MUCH before we speak, we (and by we I mean I) tend to deny our feelings and miss our opportunity to express them - which can cause untold damage to ourselves and our relationships.  I was raised not to have emotions, much less express them.  It hasn't been too hard to learn to express positive emotions but if something makes me feel a negative emotion, I have no ability to open up my mouth and talk about it. 

What is interesting to me is that I can sit in meetings and think - for instance in response to this reading - wow, I'm doing great because I don't vent at people and say hurtful things.  Yay me.  And then sometimes these other realizations happen and I think - crap ... I am one damaged piece of work.  But I did give myself a little pat for having this realization. 

The next reading was something about how the program allows a safe space for folks who have long stuff their emotions to feel those stuffed feelings - and it characterized it as those emotions boiling forward like hot lava pouring out.  Well to my Midwestern Lutheran Scandahoovian self, this stopped me in my tracks.  I'm good.  No need for hot lava here.  You can just keep your full range of emotional health, I'll just be here.  Holy crap, who thinks that the 'hot lava' experience is a motivator to work the program to get in touch with your inner emotions?  I am not miserable by any stretch, I'm mostly content even - I should also say that I'm not convinced that I have a hot lava pool in me anyway - but I am certainly not feeling anxious to move one step in that direction just in case. 

So feelings - I have them.  I feel them.  I can identify a whole spectrum of them in me.  I even know the script for talking about the negative ones (you know, the "when you do [whatever], I feel [whatever], and it would feel better to me if you would do [whatever] instead."  But I can't visualize how to make myself do that any more than I can visualize how to make myself do a back flip. 

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