First of all, here are a few things to know about feelings (adapted from Shelter from the Storm):
- Feelings are neither right nor wrong – only actions can be judged that way.
- Feelings are affected by how we think – negative thoughts produce negative feelings.
- Feelings are often mixed – rarely do you experience one feeling at a time.
- Feelings can be expressed in different ways – there is no one right way, each person has his/her own style.
- Feelings do not lose their intensity by being buried, even for a long time. They must be worked through to lose their punch.
- Feelings should not dictate our lives. Instead, what we have given our word to – integrity – should guide our decisions.
“’the most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of our own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs.’ … Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all.”
- What feelings have you been judging as being bad or wrong?
- Instead of judging your feelings, what behaviors, responses to your feelings should you instead focus on?
- How full is your bank account of positive feelings? What could you do to increase your balance?
- What opportunities, experiences have you missed out on because your feelings got in the way?
- What have you recently been giving your word to but not following through on because of your feelings?