Feelings, nothing more than feelings

As much as I like to say that people are capable of changing their lives if they want to, I’m afraid I’m not very good at doing it myself. Although it’s not my life that I want to change, but how I feel about it.

A guy I dated pointed out that I was pretty emotional, and it was a shock. I never thought of myself as emotional. I was rational, logical, happy, analytical. Emotional? Not me. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was true. (Then again, maybe just dealing with him made me that way, who knows.)

But whether he brought it out in me or just made me aware of it, I am now cursed with an overabundance of feeling. I feel everything SO deeply, to my own detriment. I rarely find myself floating peacefully through the day. Instead, any little thing turns me into an emotional wreck. I’m elated, I’m devastated, I’m incensed, I’m giddy. That heart that I used to wear on my sleeve? You know those women who carry those humongous bundles on their heads? Yep, that’s me.

I’m not saying I like it. I’m saying that’s the way it is. And I really want to change it, but I just don’t know how. I’m bone weary of hurting, of working myself into a state as I react to an imagined slight – on a real one. Of spending hours and days and weeks lost in pondering and fretting and bemoaning what was, and what isn’t, and what could be, and what shouldn’t be.

Then again, maybe it’s not my heart that’s the problem. Maybe it’s my brain, thinking too much. Maybe if I just let my heart take over, and shut down that thinking thing, I could find some peace. When I distract myself for a while, and get busy doing something besides fretting over – well, everything – the day passes easily, and my heart breathes a sigh of relief. Until I stumble into one of those countless emotional landmines that dot my landscape and that fist grips my heart, my stomach plunges, and I’m smack dab in the midst of miserable again.

The first step toward changing a behavior is recognizing it. So far, so good. Now, I just have to figure out how to take that second step, and third, and fourth, until I find myself back on stable emotional ground. In a place where the days pass easily, and I feel that steady, calm peace. I’m not sure how to get there; I’ve tried Google Maps, but when I type in “nirvana,” it directs me to an Indian restaurant in New Orleans.

Who knew that peace of mind could be found in a plate of Chicken Tikka Masala?

Anyway, maybe you like me because I’m so passionate about everything. Maybe I need to learn to embrace that passion, instead of suffering from it. Maybe I should become one of those wild artists who wear riotous colors, long fringy skirts and dangly earrings, and run around raving about life and love and everything in between. Maybe expressing my feelings, instead of bottling them up, is the key to getting rid of them. Or at least controlling them.

I’m not sure what the answer is, but I need to find it before I burn myself out. I’ll try the not-thinking thing, and the expressing thing, and see if they work. If not, maybe chocolate or tequila.

Or, if all else fails, I’ll head to New Orleans…

Chicken Tikka Masala, anyone?

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5 Responses to Feelings, nothing more than feelings

  1. Julie says:

    WoWsa, Beth! You hit on some key things in this post, once again. Changing what can be changed (usually a difficult prospect), accepting what cannot be changed (also, usually a difficult prospect, since it is something we would like to change), keeping busy, and finding peace of mind. I think there are sayings out there (wall plaques?) about all these issues, because they are very much shared by most of humanity.

  2. LH says:

    I wish for you, my friend, the highly underrated state of dumb. (No, not a typo. I dont mean numb. You, in fact, know I mean dumb, with a big fat D.) I at least love that you strive to achieve such a perfect state in your life – I believe you deserve it! I, on the other hand, am hoping to have – more money in than out each month, no late-night/wee-hours-of-the-morn phone calls full of drama, no home repairs that break the bank, the internet to be up 100% of the time at my house. You set the bar high by hoping you can solve this life mystery for yourself. If you do, please share. I could use a break myself. But, who knows. Maybe there IS really a fourth food group we never acknowledged before? Chocolate, tequila, licorice AND Chix Tikka Masala? Wowzers is right…. 😉
    XOXOXOXO

    • Beth says:

      I like the idea of dumb, LH. Or at least, “simple.” I wish I didn’t think so much. I wish I had smaller dreams. Maybe lowering the bar would be a good first step, and not expecting so much of myself, and of life. I’ll work on those more achievable dreams….love you! And our next date will be at an Indian restaurant… 🙂

  3. Larry Kollar says:

    I think it goes with the creative territory. We can imagine a better world—and we often do—so having to live in this one kind of sucks sometimes.

    So much is relative… we’re happier finding a parking slot in the 5th row at the mall, than having to go “all the way to the end” of the 2-row office lot (still a far shorter walk than that 5th-row mall slot). I got giddy when my novella climbed above 20,000 in the Amazon rankings… now I have to fight being depressed when it dips below 2,000 (it has rebounded every time, so far). And the reviews… whoa. 🙂 Talk about an emotional roller coaster.

    I’m also willing to believe that Chicken Tikka Masala is a step toward nirvana. I’ll have to hit the Indian buffet near the office and give it a try.

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