Tell Me How To Feel

I just read an article, and like so many others, it says “anyone should feel appalled at this” . . . well, they don’t all say ‘appalled’. Some say “shocked”, others say “grateful” . . . whatever the person writing the article feels is what anyone who reads it should feel.

I remember when students were taught to “think for themselves”. We didn’t always do it, but it was encouraged. Now whole populations are told how to feel about every single thing that they read or see or hear.

I resent this kind of propaganda. I often do have the same or similar feelings as the person suggests, but I prefer to form my own opinions and be the master of my own emotional state.

Lately when I read about how I should feel, I stop and think of why I might feel otherwise. it doesn’t mean that I do; it just acknowledges that we are all different and everyone has a right to their own feelings. Or they used to.

If It Feels Right . . .

If it feels right, it may be wrong. If you grew up around negative people who put you down and tried to make you mistrust your own judgement, and you find people like them and stay, you may be staying because it feels right . . . or feels “normal” to you.

Breaking free of self-doubt and sometimes self-loathing may be as hard as escaping from a spider web.

We don’t always see our lives for what they really are.

I don’t need to surround myself with “Yes” people – people who agree with everything I do or say, but I certainly don’t need to surround myself with people who criticize everything I do or who make fun of my ideas.

I grew up in a dysfunctional family (didn’t many of us?) and for a long time things “felt right” when I was in the same emotional situations I was familiar with.

I’ve had to distance myself from certain people. I’ve had to replace negative thoughts (whisper something positive in your head whenever you do something and hear in your mind those people who put you down make you feel like maybe you’re doing it wrong – whatever “it” may be) with positive thoughts.

I am capable. I am smart. I can do this.

Not “what do you think you’re doing?”, “Are you sure you can do that?”, or “You’re doing that wrong.” It’s funny now to think I ever listened to those who questioned my ambitions. But then, I didn’t always, did I?

I was the first person in my family to graduate from college.No one in my family attended my graduation. At the time that felt “normal”. Now I realize it was not.

That is the only example I’m giving right now of how a person can be lead to believe their “normal” is “normal” when it may not be.

I grew up in a small town where everyone thought everything was exactly the same everywhere. I began to see they were wrong when I went 23 miles away to college. My mother wanted me to live at home and commute. I wanted the college experience. I moved to a dorm, and I don’t regret it at all. I can’t imagine writing papers or going to meetings I needed to attend by being a commuter. I can’t imagine my mind expanding and learning so many new things by staying in the same small place.

There are other examples I could give, but I won’t right now. I’m writing a book about certain things I’ve lived through. Memoirs. I’m writing my memoirs. It’s helping me see even more how someone who has been trained to think certain behaviors are “normal” will put up with so many things they shouldn’t tolerate.

Just because it feels right doesn’t mean it is.

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