Today, for me, was accompanied by a strange and undiminishing sense of disappointment, yet by all accounts it was a very good day. I had my chiropractic appointment, I helped set up the Worship Arts Team New Season Kickoff, and then I attended said kickoff. I saw a bunch of friends and met a few new people. By all accounts, it should have been a good day, accompanied with the sorts of good feelings that good days are supposed to come with.

Which I guess just goes to show how unreliable emotions can be. While it is all well and good to enjoy the positive emotions you feel and attempt to learn from the negative emotions (or whatever it is that is the best response to the negative emotion you happen to be feeling at the moment), it can become a problem when you try to look too deeply into an inappropriate emotional response. For example, my initial response tonight as I rode home on the subway was thinking to myself “what went wrong today? What did I think was going to happen that did not happen?” Ultimately, though, I think that was the wrong question to ask myself. Because the fact of the matter is everything went as it should have today. The better question, and the one that took me a while to come to, is “why do I feel the way I do?” Unfortunately for me, there isn’t a very good reason for this question, and there may never will be one.

I’ve let inexplicably sour moods ruin a great deal many events for me. Birthdays, hangouts, holidays, I can think of at least one example of pretty much anything where I suddenly became despondent and just outright refused to interact with people in any meaningful way, let alone enjoy myself. And every time this happened, it was a mistake on my part. It wasn’t a mistake for me to feel the way I did, because I don’t think that is something that is very much in my control. It was, however, a mistake to react to my emotions in such a way.

It is a mistake I am trying to prevent happening now and in the future, for a number of reasons. One is that my own happiness and enjoyment should never be the sole arbiter of how I behave. At a lot of these events, the focus was on someone or something else, and as a human being in civilization it is my responsibility to acknowledge that. It simply isn’t acceptable for me to become unresponsive at someone else’s birthday party, for instance. It’s their party, and even if I’m not feeling cheerful, it’s still important that I do my part in celebrating that they are alive and such. Either that or politely excuse myself so I can glower elsewhere.

There are always important things that need to be done, no matter how we are feeling. We shouldn’t ignore feelings, as they usually indicate something important, but we can’t live for feelings alone.


One Response to Feelings

  1. Rebecca says:

    Once again, I think your humility, self-awareness and resolve to improve your state of mind/being is all the more courageous and admirable precisely because you are NOT naturally the warm and fuzzy type. Respect!

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