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Have you ever tried talking to someone about how you feel for more than 2 minutes? They will start to get a glazed-over look in their eyes and pretend to look concerned, while really just going over what they’re going to have for dinner. This is not because everyone is heartless and selfish, or because we treat others without care for how our actions might be received, but because our emotions are a personal projection created from past experience, trauma, and expectations, which others can relate to, but are not ultimately responsible for.
Have you ever watched a parent who was overly consumed with how their child felt? Children go through the entire cannon of human emotions every five minutes. Angry they didn’t get the toy, thrilled to see a fire truck, resentful their sibling got to push the button, embarrassed by the person who said hi. If a parent becomes obsessed with how their child feels at every moment, they will exhaust themselves because it changes every 4 seconds. We think that there comes a point where we mature enough that this isn’t the case but it’s not so. We continue to feel as much but develop skills at allowing emotions to exist without acting them out. It is unsustainable and unstable to over-identify with our own emotions let alone try to do the same for someone else.
Feelings are simply internal sensations which give us information from our sensory system, like another sense. They move through us like the weather in the sky. So if we get locked into the syndrome of over-relating to our emotions and reporting our feelings like a weather man, it will create more tension and distress. What we require is the equanimity to handle whatever emotion/s come our way, use them to process what triggered them, and communicate with intuition and clarity. Reacting from feelings is a sign that we have something undigested to deal with. We can hold others accountable for their actions which have affected our boundaries or caused injury to us, we can communicate why someone’s actions made us feel a certain way, but it is fruitless to blame someone for how we feel.