Are Your Feelings — Positive or Negative — Always Valid?
Yes, your feelings are always valid. But understanding them is another matter.
You’ve probably been in a situation where you had an emotional response someone deemed inappropriate or disproportional. You were overreacting, taking it too hard, overthinking it, or what-have-you.
It did not help your situation, did it? Chances are it increased it, or made you more stubborn and deepened the feeling.
What’s more, they might have been correct. You were overreacting, taking it too hard, overthinking it, or whatever. You couldn’t reach that conclusion immediately because you were in the throes of feeling what you were feeling.
That’s because your feelings, positive or negative, are always valid.
Why? Because they belong to you and you alone. There is nobody else inside your head, heart, or soul. Ergo, nobody but you can feel for you. Plain and simple.
However, that doesn’t mean you understand what you’re feeling. Or even why you feel it to the depth that you do.
That doesn’t make it any less valid. But recognizing and acknowledging this fact goes a long way toward greater peace of mind, self-awareness, and mindfulness. And that leads to more empowerment and control.
Visceral reactions are hard to understand
When something happens that evokes a visceral reaction, it’s immediate and impactful. Mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, or all the above — visceral means deep feeling. It’s the most base, animal, crude emotional response, utterly lacking in logic, reason, or intellect.
Understanding when it comes to emotions in and of themselves is a challenge. Emotions — feelings — are complex entities. They’re comprised of both a what and a how that can vary from situation to situation.
Take anger, for example. Anger is the what. But how you feel it will differ depending on the cause. It could be red hot or ice cold. It could be a slow burn or an immediate explosion.
A visceral reaction is pure feeling, with zero intellect. It happens in the moment as a result of something. It occurs…