December 11th- “Try not to privilege logic at the expense of feelings.”

When you’re going through withdrawals from sugar/coffee/shopping/drugs/excessive exercising/codependent relationships/technology/any kind of addiction you may have, logic goes out the window. There’s no amount of explaining and understanding that makes the emotions you feel any less real.

For the past few days, my friend has been moody, tired, and irritable. He’s not feeling like himself because he decided to stop eating refined sugar. I’ve done it before for a few months and it’s really hard! Sugar is in most bread, so you have to give that up too unless you make your own with honey.

Instinctually, I tried using logic, telling him that, “It’s normal. Getting off sugar is super difficult. Someone I knew (who used to use drugs) told me it’s like trying to quit cocaine.” This is also supported by research on sugar addiction. Check out the abstract here.

That was a bad move on my part! Telling him something he already knew didn’t make him feel better and I should have kept my mouth shut. What I inadvertently did was invalidate his feelings and probably made him feel worse! After that, I didn’t provide anymore unsupporting support and the rest of the day went much more smoothly.

It’s surprising that even for someone like me (who relates to people/things more emotionally than logically), I reacted opposite of how I normally behave. I really know better than this. I wonder where I learned this bad behavior from…that’s for another post…

As someone who is highly emotional and aware of my highly emotional tendencies, I know that there’s nothing anyone can say to make me feel any differently. I’ve learned to simply stay away from people when I’m in a bad mood. A few hours away or good night sleep usually does the trick and no one is harmed in the process!

As self-created/unreal/temporary emotions may be (as I’ve heard argued by some people), the point is that feelings are real to the person feeling them.  Most of the time, what someone is feeling has nothing to do with me and I need to respect that. It’s narcisstic to think that I should/could change someone else’s feelings, much less use logic (which I am no good at) to do it!

The next time someone is feeling down, I will remind myself that:

  1. He/she trusts me enough to share their feelings with me
  2. He/she is not asking to be “fixed”
  3. All I can do is bear witness to his/her feelings.

 

November 12th – “New discoveries happen every day that change your environment in radical ways…stay spry, get up on your toes, and be ready.”

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Change is inevitable. Kids grow up, photographs fade, and the color of leaves change with the seasons. In this world, change happens whether we will it so or not.

Even inanimate objects are not exempt from change. My printer can attest to that. It used to spit out paper at 17 pages per minute and now every other page gets jammed. I don’t welcome this particular change, but I must deal with it nonetheless.

Above all else, I think our thoughts and feelings change, even for stubborn people like me! I don’t think people are capable of sustaining one feeling or thought for a long period of time. Have you heard about the 7 stages of grief? It’s helpful to remember this especially when I have negative emotions. I tell myself, “Hey, it’s just temporary!”

FYI: I’m aware that I’m totally conflating feelings, emotions, and thoughts. For my purposes right now, I am grouping them together and using the words “emotions” and “feelings” interchangeably. I might change my mind tomorrow, but that’s what it will be today! If you’re interested, psychology does make a distinction between feeling and emotions. To learn more, click here.

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My zodiac agreed with my horoscope today. It told me to “find ways to deal with changes.”

Yesterday, I had great plans to be proactive, get ahead of deadlines, and write cover letters. I was feeling motivated, inspired, excited and ambitious!

Much to my disappointment, I had a difficult time stringing simple words together. My mind was a mess! I felt disorganized, frazzled, frustrated, and annoyed. The blog post I wrote had way more typos than usual, so I accepted this setback. I decided to give up on the cover letters for the day.

After a nap, I felt refreshed and decided to work in the garden. It’s been days since I’ve given the plants any attention, and I was surprised to find that the brussel sprouts had taken over the beds. I didn’t read the directions when I planted them in early spring, so they didn’t have enough space. I’ll be surprised if they produce anything.

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In contrast, my basil starts were still tiny after weeks in their trays, so I transplanted them.

The succulents had a few more new sprouts as well.

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I hope you grow big and strong in your new home!

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I was satisfied with the effort I put into the garden and continued “work” by reading The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.  It’s an incredible fairy tale fantasy book published in 1968. I got through the first 200 pages even though I was mentally exhausted from the whirlwind of emotions. As you can probably guess from the title, it’s not a happy story!

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In the course of one day, I experienced a range of emotions. I felt:

  1. Motivated
  2. Inspired
  3. Excited
  4. Ambitious
  5. Disorganized
  6. Frazzled
  7. Frustrated
  8. Annoyed
  9. Refreshed
  10. Satisfied
  11. Proud
  12. Sad
  13. Fearful
  14. Exhausted
  15. Curious
  16. Angry
  17. Pity
  18. Love
  19. Disgust
  20. Intrigued
  21. Quiet
  22. Paralyzed
  23. Worried
  24. Pessimistic
  25. Eager
  26. Sympathetic

It’s crazy to see my feelings documented this way because this is just a truncated list! I’m sure there were more feelings that I experienced and didn’t include.

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What have you been feeling lately?