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  • Writer's pictureStacy Taylor, LCSW

Don't Believe Everything You Feel

I wrote a blog (see below) about the bumper sticker, “Don’t Believe Everything You Think.” The same can be said about our feelings. Our feelings can lead us towards illumination. But they can also lead us astray.

For instance, we all have known people like Janie, who is in love with Justin even though he’s Mr. Wrong. Though Justin takes his bad moods out on her, even though he goes out drinking and gambling with the boys, Janie insists that she’s in love with Justin. And in her mind, her emotional connection to Justin means that they should be together.

It’s not just women like Janie who can get thrown off track by her emotions. At times, we all let our emotions take over.

If, for example, you take a job that you know you won't like because of fear of not getting another, or if you marry a person you don’t love because you’re lonely, your emotions are not acting as your friends. If you become enraged at your landlord for raising the rent and he/she then retaliates by evicting you, your feelings may have blinded you to the potential consequences.

How do we know when our feelings are leading us in the right direction versus making a mess of our lives? It’s not always easy to tell. There’s a difference between intuition and feelings, though. Intuition is an innate, sixth sense about something or someone. Feelings can sometimes just be a physiological, maybe a hormonal, reaction.

Intuition can center a person and make him/her feel more grounded. Emotions can sweep us up in the impulses of the moment.

Before you make a major decision in your life, try to discern whether you are acting upon intuition or simply an emotional reaction. Otherwise you might find yourself like Janie: stuck in a situation which has disaster written all over it.

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