Tag Archives: Jim Morrison

Thinking vs. Feeling Your Feelings

I was recently talking with a friend about the topic of feeling your feelings vs. thinking your feelings. Then I began seeing things on social media these past few weeks on this topic as well. Clearly it is time to write a little something about it.

This is certainly something most, if not all, of us are guilty of doing. I know I have become a super star in the field of thinking my feelings instead of feeling them. I think in many ways we are trained by society to do this…to think our feelings rather than actually feeling them.  First of all, there is no time to stop and feel anything.  There are too many things to do and never enough hours in the day (both personally and professionally), so merely thinking our feelings is much more efficient and fits better with our lifestyle in today’s world.  Plus, to actually feel feelings usually gets translated into you being weak (a common perception we ascribe to people who take the time to feel their feelings).

Thinking your feelings vs actually feeling them is easier, neater, cleaner, and nicer for everyone involved in the process. We just think about them and move on – it is that simple. Feeling them, on the other hand, requires that we get messy and deeply experience emotions we don’t like (pain, loss, sorrow, regret, etc.).  Feeling our feelings can take time and can uncover more things for you to address too.  It just is not convenient or efficient by today’s standards.

In addition to thinking our feelings, we are also quite good at talking about them rather than feeling them. Many people think because they have talked about them they have processed them (and therefore felt them), but that is not necessarily the case. If the talking about the feelings is more of a venting or complaining session then you are not processing/feeling them.  Granted, talking about your feelings may be more of a step toward feeling them than just thinking them is, but you still haven’t felt them in most cases if you are just talking about them.  Talking about them can even help you push them farther away making it harder to be able to feel them.

Feeling them takes time and can be inconvenient in this fast paced, modern world. We are expected to handle things gracefully and not show emotion in many avenues of life. There are such high expectations for all of us (real, imagined,s or self-imposed).  The question to ask is are you just finding ways to cope with your feelings or are you actually allowing yourself to feel them?  Are you getting by without feeling them?  Are you burying them and moving on?  If you are doing any of those things, they are still there.  They haven’t gone away, though we tell ourselves that they have.

“We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict.” – Jim Morrison

We have to learn to address them for good. If you don’t feel them they get buried deep inside of you and can manifest inside you in the form of an illness or it can negatively impact your life externally via your relationships, etc. We need to feel and process them so they dissipate, otherwise they build up and get worse.

Let them out, express them, feel them, own them, and above all take action. Do something active with your emotions so you can truly feel them and work through them – journal, cry, draw, punch a pillow, etc. Find ways that work for you, but by all means take the time to really, truly feel your feelings.

It may get darker before it gets lighter but real growth and transformation can only come through allowing yourself to feel those feelings inside of you. True light only can come if you let yourself feel your feelings and you work through your stuff.

The Mask

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.” – Jim Morrison

There is no freedom like that of being yourself fully and completely – being able to live a life that feels good and right to you…expressing yourself in a way that feels authentic…being true to yourself in all aspects of your life. Yet, how often do we prevent ourselves from experiencing that sense of freedom? How easily do we fall in line with the roles and rules society has handed us, and in doing so lose touch with our true nature? How often do we hide who we really are from the world because our authentic self doesn’t quite conform to the norm? If we are being honest with ourselves, we know the answers to these questions, for most of us at least, are often and easily.

Consider for a moment how you feel when you make the choice to do what others do when it doesn’t ring true to you, or how you feel being confined to the roles and rules given to you by society. How does it feel to put on that mask and go through the motions of daily life in the way society says you should but not in a way that resonates with you? For most of us it can be stifling, frustrating, and/or disheartening. Given this reality, is it any surprise that so many people in today’s world openly talk about their ongoing search for happiness. So many are unhappy, frustrated, and searching for a better way.

And the reality is that so often we prevent ourselves from finding true, lasting happiness by being what we are not…by putting on a mask as Jim Morrison said. There’s no doubt that we are our own worst enemy in this respect. We get so wrapped up in what others think, in how we will appear or come off, in the need to conform and fit in. We compare ourselves with others, thinking we must do what others do in order to be like them, fit in like them, and/or get what they have.

NOT true…we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others because we each have our own path. Different things work for different people, so comparison is such an unfair thing to do to ourselves. Have more compassion for yourself and compare yourself only to the person you were yesterday (not to other people). We need to break free from the need/desire to get approval from and/or be like others. It would be far better to learn how to be ourselves…and feel comfortable while doing it. We each have unique gifts to give to the world and we shouldn’t rob the world of what we have to offer by changing who we are to fit into what society says we should be. Besides, you will feel amazing when you surrender yourself to your true self…when you honor who you authentically are and share it with the world. You just might find the happiness for which you have always been looking all along.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde