We live in a world that prioritizes rationality and thought over feelings. We are ultimately thinking, feeling beings though. To ignore our feelings is to discard one whole half of who we are. We feel before we think. Many of us learn to block out our feelings, to ignore and suppress them in favor of more socially accepted means of acquiring knowledge. It is to our detriment, as feelings serve a purpose. They alert us when someone is lying, when something is wrong, when we find ourselves in danger and must get out. Feelings let us know when it is time for a change. Our feelings offer greater insight at times than do our thoughts. After all, is not intuition based on our feelings? Have you ever just instinctively known something?
On the topic of feelings, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“We live in a culture that worships logical, rational, linear thought processes and disdains and ignores feelings. Feelings are seen as uncontrollable, dangerous, and unnecessary.
Yet, it is our feelings that make us human. Our feelings warn us of danger. If we are out of touch with them, we may miss danger signals.
It is our feelings, not our minds, that tell us when someone is lying to us. When we are being lied to, we feel it right in our solar plexus. We need our feelings to help us deal with the world.”
Feelings get a bad rap. Especially when it comes to feeling negative emotions like melancholy, loneliness, despair, and rage. Don’t we like to feel happy though? How boring and one-dimensional our world would be if we didn’t have feelings. We would never experience joy, rapture, delight. Think of all the experiences we would miss out on if we didn’t have feelings. Love, laughter, grief, heartbreak. There is beauty to be found in every emotion in the human range. We can’t have the good without the bad, no more than we can favor rational thought over human emotion. Feelings offer just as much insight into the world as any deductive reasoning or logic we can use. They add color to our world and make life worth living. A life without feelings would be dull indeed.