positivist (positivist) wrote,

What it means to understand your own emotions

A Russian forum member named Rick proposed an alternative aid in discovering one's Socionics type, which can be found here. I answered the questionnaire thinking I pretty much nailed the meanings of the questions down and answered it accurately. However, there was one specific ambiguity that still existed, in this question:

- [do you require] assistance making sense of your feelings towards people and things

Of which I answered:

Doubt it. Unless I don't understand what exactly "making sense of your feelings" means?

Now, I know what my feelings mean, right? I'm sort of a sensitive/tough-minded guy, a strange combination which kind of makes me receptive and knowledgeable of my own feelings but not of others. I know how I feel about things and people at any given time, of course. A feeling is a feeling, right? Analyze it enough and you will understand perfectly its root.

Well, guess what? THAT IS WRONG.

Today I realized something that has been going on inside of me for about two weeks now, something that has been progressively destroying me and making me doubt my own honesty. That something is a bundle of emotions I have for a specific person of which some of you know all too well. These emotions that I feel are real, that is true, and I know what they are. But I do not know what they MEAN. I have finally realized that "making sense of your feelings" means not KNOWING what they are, but rather, in the grand scheme of things, understanding which ones are truly important. For I feel plenty, but I know not where these feelings will take me.

Here's the case: there are times when I feel like I need this person, but then there are so many more times when I feel like I have no feelings for her. It's so situationally-dependent that it completely tears me apart. How do I know how I really, really feel about her? One minute I feel totally lost in her, and the next, nothing. She excites me, then she bores me. When I speak to her, I really feel something there, but when I think about her, I can't feel a thing. This occupies almost every waking hour of my day life, to the point where I just can't think about it anymore. I analyze it so heavily, yet nothing ever results. I am forever lost in emotional ambiguity.

Then I look at her. I understand how she feels about me. I know she holds a love for me that is ever-increasing and ever-present. She seems so perfect in that respect. But what's wrong with me? Why can't I be like this?

Well, I had the realization today that even though feelings are not always there, they still exist. Yes, there are times when you feel nothing and yes, it is frightening. It becomes so difficult at times to differentiate between what is real and what is fake. But "making sense of your feelings" means understanding that an empty feeling is simply a break between your true feelings, and that it is all just situationally-dependent. It is nothing to worry about. Eventually you will see your true feelings filling in those empty gaps, being "conditioned to feel without stimuli", in a Pavlovian sense. Even as I write this entry do I feel my emptiness filling up with my true feelings for this person.

So tomorrow I may feel emptiness. I may feel like nothing is there and can never be there. But at least I will understand why I feel this way.

A few hours before I wrote this post, I felt doubtful of my feelings. But now I remember all those feelings I felt while talking to this person for hours into the night.

And that feeling is love.

Truly love.
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