Lie: If I Feel It, Then It Must Be True

Remember that popular song, “Feelings”? We live in a world that places a lot of emphasis on feelings. If it feels good do it! There is nothing wrong with feelings. A world without passion or feeling would be a very dull place. Who would want to live in a world without feelings?

The problem occurs when we equate feelings with the truth. A lot of pop psychology has contributed to this belief. The prevailing thought is “get in touch with your feelings” or “trust your feelings.” Quite frankly, that kind of existence scares me just a little. What would happen if everyone lived out of their emotions? I think it would get a little nutty.

For starters, I know we would definitely have a lot more road rage to deal with on a daily basis. For me, personally, it would mean that I would stop writing this article and immediately leave for the beach for a month. That would just be the beginning! After my trip, I would definitely go on a huge shopping spree! I think you get the point.

Feelings and emotions can be very powerful and strong pulls in our life for good or for evil. They can even be important for us to consider when we make decisions, but the truth is they are just “feelings”. They definitely are not predictable and they don’t always equal the truth or the facts. In fact, sometimes they can be diametrically opposed to the facts.

Has this ever happened to you? You may feel someone doesn’t like you. You believe it’s the truth and so you respond out of those feelings, only to find out at a later time that person liked you after all. If you had continued to operate on your feelings alone, you would have totally missed out on a relationship with that person. What about the person who experiences a panic attack? At the time that it is happening, the person feels like they are not going to make it. They feel like they’re going to die. Having survived one myself, I now know those overwhelming feelings were not in sync with reality at all.

In this world, where we place so much emphasis on emotions and feelings, too many people live out of their emotions. It’s as if they have no control over their feelings. It’s more like their feelings drive and control them. For them, feelings equal the facts or the truth. I ”feel” it so it must be true, and so their feelings jerk them around, dictate their moods and decisions in life. I “feel” worthless so why bother? I “feel” love for this person, so it must be so. The next thing you know they have run off with another person, even though they may be married. “We were so in love”, they say! It’s amazing the choices and decisions that can be rationalized and justified because of feelings or emotions.

Please don’t misunderstand me, feelings and emotions can be grand and no doubt enhance our lives in many ways. In fact, feelings can be a valuable part of the decision-making process, but can never be a substitute for the facts. When facts are at odds with feelings, it is better that the feelings change than the facts be ignored.