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Feelings are important.

They are our primary motivator and they contribute to why we rise and fall. Without them nothing ever gets going. They make us feel good, and without them we wouldn’t feel the pressure to sober up and muster the courage to get out of the funk we wallow in.

Feelings are very important.

They are essential. (Not that we have any choice in the matter). They are the link to our happiness and well being, but they also cause us grief and mislead our intentions.

We sometimes dance with our feelings too often. We let them take the lead and we follow. We give in to our emotions far too often, and far too easily. We affront them too much power. We become seduced by their allure.

We take guidance from our feelings. We bend to their will.

They tell us where to go. Who to be. They tell us what to do, and that’s a grave mistake.

It’s a terrible mistake.

Feelings are amazing identifiers of where we are.

They show up when we’re having a good time, and are partially responsible for it. They come to help. They come as they please. They make you feel good and you want that moment to last.

Similarly, they come to you when you are facing a crisis.

They assert themselves when you struggle and when you’re down. They tell you that you should cut and run. They insist you comply or they provoke you to fight. They want the best for you. They want you to feel safe and secure and most of all, they want life to be very manageable and predictable.

They put pressure on you to get out of the situation at all costs or by whatever means necessary. They will even try to make you feel worthless, so you can give up the fight. So you comply. So you can quit. So you embrace the path of least resistance.

Feelings prefer the easy path.

They are your motivational dojo master.

But they present a problem.

It’s not the feelings themselves that are the problem, but with what we do with them.

Feelings simply tell us where we are. They tell us what is going on in the moment, but they do not tell us where we want to go, or how badly we desire to get there.

Our feelings often change. What once feels good can later feel very rotten, and what once was rotten can sometimes turn out to make us feel good.

People sometimes even tell me they actually like salad!

Feelings are funny little creatures, which is why you should never take directions from them.

Yes, use them to motivate yourself, but don’t let them talk you out where you’ve always dreamed of going. Don’t let them lie to you that you can’t become who you want to be.

You cannot feel yourself into the future.

Let me repeat that.

You cannot feel what you will feel in the future.

Overindulging yourself in succulent buffet lines will make you feel good in the moment but it will definitely round your waist, but if you resisted and ate sensibly, becoming svelte and looking marvellous would feels just as damn good.

You can’t feel your feelings forward.

Taste is immediate. Change takes time. It takes something beyond what you feel to get where you want to go. Feelings can be dangerous because they are powerful and provide immediate gratification. The feelings of the future are mere rumours. There is doubt they will be able to make an appearance.

It is easy to lose yourselves in our anger, to self doubt, to quit when the seas get rough, to blame others for yours failures, and to go back to the comfort of predictability.

There is safety and comfort in being miserable because there are many people who choose to be miserable and comfortable.

Pay attention to your feelings but don’t let them tell you where to go.

Use them for your advantage, but don’t ever give up control.

Get back in your dojo.

Do the right things. Trust the process.

Don’t let feelings determine who you choose to be.

 

Cover photo generously provided by photographer Thought Catalog via unsplash.com