The Secret Life of Feelings

Shrouded in Secrecy

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“It always shocked me when I realized that I wasn’t the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things.”
― John Green

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What does enveloped mean to you?

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Enveloped… means to me exploring the layers which shroud us, inside and out.

Thought.

Feeling.

And more.

And all the variations of thought and feeling, and more, separate and combined, of self, of others, of self and others combined, and so on into the infinity of et cetera.

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“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them. ”
― Agatha Christie

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I have this theory (I call it a theory of mine just for brevity’s sake, but it belongs to no one) that thoughts are how the brain gets oxygen to move around our system. When we’re busy thinking, we’re oxygenating our body, which feeds the rest of us with an essence that keeps us alive.

Too much of it and we’ve over-oxygenating ourselves. Beware of side effects. Don’t light a match.

Something like that… I haven’t really though this through.

So… what are feelings?

Depends on whether the feelings are actually feelings or thoughts disguised as feelings… there is a difference which shrouds.

If feeling is truly a feeling rather than a thought, then…

I have this theory (which I’m making up right now, but may be something made up before me) that feelings are how our brain gets blood to move around our system. When we’re busy feeling, blood flows through our veins, which nourishes the rest of us with the essence that keeps us alive.

Too much of it and we’ve drowned ourselves and others in it. Beware of side effects. Where’s the life ring? Who hid it?

Something like that… I haven’t really felt this through.

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 “Everyone, at some point in their lives, wakes up in the middle of the night with the feeling that they are all alone in the world, and that nobody loves them now and that nobody will ever love them, and that they will never have a decent night’s sleep again and will spend their lives wandering blearily around a loveless landscape, hoping desperately that their circumstances will improve, but suspecting, in their heart of hearts, that they will remain unloved forever. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to wake somebody else up, so that they can feel this way, too.”
― Lemony Snicket

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I often see people talking about ‘thinking too much’ as though this was a crime which their mind was committing against them.

Or people talking about ‘feeling too much’ as though, yet again, some part of them was abusing them in some way, their heart was beating them up by beating too much, and feeling each beat.

I used to think and feel that way too. My mind and heart were trying to make me insane… compared to what exactly, I don’t know? Did I think or feel I was sane? Did I think or feel others were sane?

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“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”
― Albert Camus

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But then I hit that wall known as getting older, being that age that is thought and felt to be ‘old’ (conditions apply depending on this and that), and as I passed through it, I lost some of the fears which were a part of youth.

I thought and felt that I’d never get rid of such fears, maybe I didn’t, maybe they just got rid of me.

Some call this getting wiser, this aging thing which envelopes you whether you want it or not. I’m not sure if that’s what it is. It was more a case of being relieved that my mind still thought and my heart still felt things, which meant that I was still alive in spite of mortality looming, in spite of decay, in spite of beign old in a world which worships youth, in spite of the layers of build up which experiencing life tends to accumulate and envelope us with.

Don’t end a sentence with a preposition… why? Is it going to kill me? If it is… so what? If that is what kills me, then life is ridiculous and so is death and dying… and dying from such a thing seems appropriate. It would probably be the most appropriate thing I have done.

Or are you going to kill me for being grammatically incorrect because such a thing kills you… and you’d rather kill than be killed? Over such a trifle?

Such is… human.

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 “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”
― William Shakespeare

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Layers and layers enveloping us.

Layers which are ours, layers which belong to others, both past and present, and perhaps even future.

Our layers laid upon others – I feel and think this therefore so must you… bear this burden… because I bear the burden of the layers laid upon me.

And so it goes…

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“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”
― Ernest Hemingway

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We’re conceived (hmmm), born (maybe), live (sort of), die (uh oh)… and along the way, we think, feel, and experience…

We label it, others label it. We label ourselves, others label us… we label others and ourselves.

Enveloping… putting a stamp on it… sending it… giving… receiving… returning to sender… address unknown…

6 thoughts on “The Secret Life of Feelings

  1. Dear Ursula et al. I resisted comment here l week. This aging thing is part of what has enveloped me in a huge black hole for months

    I have Tried w all my will, with all manner of destraction , with total surrender, with all mindfulness and not extricate myself from these all roads led to doom alone thoughts

    And yes I am still alive as you say inspite of mortality loaning, In spite of decay but I don’t feel relieved. I feel invisible and hopeless.

    I’m listening to the same song right now I was listening to in my senior year of high school. And it’s over 40 year later and I feel that same empty feeling I did the first time I felt it even w all my introspection, life lessons and oh so overrated ‘opportunities for growth’

    ‘Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day , fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way. … Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain. You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today. and then one day you find , ten years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you’ve missed the starting gun. Well you know the rest Pink Floyd really summed it up for me when I was in my teens. Little did I realize it would feel the same decade later

    I think maybe some of us who have had npd parents experience aloneness in a much different way than those of Us who’s needs were met or at least acknowledged as children.

    Maybe I’ve had too much work or way too much loss this year that I just can’t get any sense of perspective that i will every feel any differently

    But I am very aware of my mortality and the feeling of time running out and feeling like I have not achieved simple joys of companionship or love and it’s enveloped me.

    I always manage to get to work bc that’s how I have to survive but Sometimes I can not even get out the door or into the garden. I think ‘why bother’ you’ll be alone w yourself there anywhere so why even get dressed and bother

    I know this all sounds very self absorbed but there’s never been a time where I’ve felt so pessimistic about my chances of getting it right for me. Finding a place where I fit for me.

    Many years ago someone read my chart and told me there was an aspect that was like running for a bathtub w the stopper missing and that’s just how I feel.

    There’s always the joy of finally getting the courage to confide to a friend how awful you feel only to be told ‘how much you have ‘ and why don’t you get your self down to a homeless shelter and see how good you’ve really got it. Somehow I don’t think they really got my point. You can be grateful for what you have and still feel alone and scared and isolated and not see a way out
    Of that aloneness.

    so dramatic lol but I wanted to put it out there. See if it resonates w you or anyone

    Thanks and hugs

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      What you’ve shared is in some ways a deep insight into being human. It is what we all share, yet often keep to ourselves. There are many complexities in being, and they are confusing.

      We’re all alone, yet we long for companionship. But there’s a paradox to getting what we want – we want it, but we don’t want it. We want to want it more than we want to have it. When we get what we want, we have to deal with the reality of it, which rarely lives up to our desire for it. Whereas when we’re wanting it but don’t have it, it allows us to enjoy the fantasy of it, even if we suffer while dreaming of the ideal.

      Age, and that feeling of mortal time running out, in theory could make us more realistic and less idealistic. It could help us appreciate what we have rather than being contemptuous of it or dissatisfied with it, but to appreciate what we have, we have to give up chasing after the dreams of what we could have. Those dreams are sometimes what keep us going, if we let go of them, what then? And of course, we’re told by society to never give up on them… so, again we’re faced with a paradox.

      The solution sometimes causes more problems than the problem.

      The whole – “why don’t you get yourself down to a homeless shelter and see how good you’ve really got it” – is not a good argument for appreciating what we have because it’s an intellectual argument, and it is full of holes. Some of which are narcissistic holes. Anyone who uses this type of argument when you’re confiding in them is most likely being an ass for very human reasons – the personal pain you’re sharing is causing them to have heebie-jeebies about their own life and they want to shut you up to block their own stuff out. So they’re using people to control people, to ultimately keep control of themselves. You’d probably find more understanding from those who are in a homeless shelter, they get the paradoxes of life. How you can have everything and have nothing at the same time. Or have nothing and find everything because of it.

      There’s no easy solution to being human and living a human experience. It hurts like hell, with moments of heaven scattered within the hell. Some of that hell – we do that to ourselves. Some of it – others do that to us, because they’re doing it to themselves and passing it on.

      The simple joys of companionship – easiest way to get that is from nature. But we sort of have to have that with our own nature to appreciate it in nature. Otherwise we just bring our issues to bear upon nature. To love the sound of rain, the feel of getting soaked… you got to like the inner rain, and what happens when it soaks you. Being self-absorbed has a good side to it…

      Finding the joys of companionship with other humans is a complicated experience. We’re all trying to fit in, find our home with others, but… we all have a different dream of it, and the reality of it isn’t like our dreams.

      Have you ever explored the concept of Wabi-Sabi. Not in its cleaned up for popular consumption version, but it’s actual version. It embraces decay as something not to be feared but to be valued. But not valued in a human way, just in a natural flow of life.

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      1. I have heard vaguely of ‘wabi- sabi’ In Relation to Buddhism let’s see what typing on my phone does to this post or that term. . It usually makes them look as though they aren’t proofed when in reality they have been and the autocorrect genies have their way with them

        I do think of that person who made the homeless remark as narcissistic at times. He’s been married for 30 years , retired , close to my age and I don’t think he’s ever spent a birthday or Xmas or a series of them on his own. Or to drag yourself into work when you have a fever bc you’re self employed

        he was telling me bc I had a legitimate feeling I was unappreciative for what I did have. Lots of those things I do have, career, etc I never really wanted anyway. They’re all things I’ve done out of necessity so I could live and mostly support my child and I dragged myself In There day after day when I really wanted to be lying in the garden.

        I’m at a stage of my life where I’m good and tired of doing things I don’t want to do bc they sap my energy from pursuing things that are meaningful

        The remark didn’t hurt me as much as I realized this was someone who could not be trusted w real feelings and don’t bother trying that again

        This feeling I’m feeling now, it’s that same emptiness that I felt as a child except it’s so much later. As you wisely implied, I had more hope or naivety then, and did all manner of things to fill that hole. Many with disasterous consequences. Being in the active parenting part of my life was the only aspect I’ve truly loved and it’s the one relationship in my life that always brings great reward

        My work involves people who are ending relationships. I see most people have lonely marriages or those who have been betrayed in the most unspeakable calculated ways and find it paradoxical that I will come home and long for this unicorn of sorts

        i do have a strong belief that ‘past is prologue’. maybe I’m realizing here in this writing , in the past so many of my choices have led to more emptiness perhaps that’s why I stop myself before I even go out the door Maybe that’s why I think ‘why bother even getting dressed and going out ‘ it will just be a waste of time. There is nothing but disappoint in looking to others and besides who will notice you at this stage. It’s interesting how I can’t believe the script can not be changed

        And yes, there’s the entire worship of ‘youth and beauty’ thing here in my town. But in reality, the statistics say that the majority of the populace are baby boomers. Not millennials.

        And while all decades of my life have probably been a lot like this, this one has the least room for denial. That’s prob all that’s Different.

        You’ve given me a lot to think about. Thanks for being there I enjoy the weeks you share how you truly feel. It makes me feel less alone in my confusion

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        1. One of the things to keep in mind about aging is we all have to have a ‘midlife crisis’ whether we want it or not. It’s a rite of passage – that point where we need to assess things. Astrology is quite useful in this respect because there are certain transits which signal the onset of such a ‘crisis’ of self and life.

          What you’re going through is normal and natural. But it always feels anything but. Everyone else seems to have it together while you’re crumbling – everyone else doesn’t have it together, but that’s hard to notice when your life is front and centre, and seems to be everything you don’t want it to be or something like that.

          Sometimes this age and time in life is when our past becomes dominant – lets us know how much of an influence our child self has on our adult self, no matter how much we’ve done to deal with things.

          It is both liberating and trapping.

          In some ways the script can’t be changed, but we can learn to perceive it differently. Challenge it with the wisdom of having lived it. Takes time and patience with ourselves.

          You’ve got a great mind and heart, but you haven’t had the time to really get to know the full extent of your own mind and heart because you’ve been too busy surviving – and the need to survive never seems to let up. Sometimes we have to do things on the fly.

          A couple of years ago I just gave up and decided not to bother anymore… I’d reached my total crisis point and I went with the ‘eff it, embrace it’ approach after exhausting myself trying to fight it. It’s been an interesting series of consequences since then. Not sure what to make of it, but sometimes letting the mess happen is what has to happen. But that’s my path… we all have to figure out our own path, which is a frigging ‘mare of a puzzle.

          It’s strange really, when we own up to how alone and confused we are… that’s when we make connections, and feel a sense of belonging of sorts as part of a motley crew of outsiders 🙂

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