I thought I could, but I couldn’t. Really, I couldn’t. Many people can’t. Well, actually they can, because everybody can. Simply cut your finger or bump your pinky toe; everybody is able to feel! And yet I wasn’t really able to feel. I was on the outside – with a cut finger or a bumped toe – but if someone asked me how I felt I always answered out of my intellect.
Usually, in past generations it was not done, but gradually there is increasingly more space to express what you feel. My granddad, for example, was a man of few words. Maybe a typical example of a man of his time. For him talking was something functional, a way to transmit a message.
There’s nothing wrong with intellect. Our intellect, just like our feelings, is a gift that we received for free. And it has a very important function, like our whole body has. We don’t give that a moment’s thought on a daily basis, but most of the time we don’t see the real value – as in many circumstances – until it’s gone. That’s obvious when we talk about our organs or limbs. However, everything on and in us carries out an essential purpose and outshines in what it does.
Feeling is for sissies
Although in the Western world the intellect is being emphasized seriously, still we also have feeling at our disposal. And where our intellect has a remarkable talent for thinking and logic, our feeling is unprecedented when it comes to feeling and sensing. Many people do have trouble converting feelings and sensations into words. Or they think it’s a bridge too far; why should I talk about feelings, what’s the use of that? I’m not on a psychiatrist’s couch, am I? In my experience in many settings the soft side is less appreciated. Mostly the rule applies: anything that is measurable and can be accounted for rationally outranks what we feel. Head and heart seem to be out of balance.
But eeh, my brain is in my head, where can I find my feelings? Some of us immediately think of the heart or stomach area, where others think of intuition – wherever that may be ;-) Maybe the most amazing thing is that our whole body is able to feel. Butterflies or a nagging feeling in your stomach, headaches or a stressed and painful neck after a busy day. Just some examples. Clear signs of our body that shouldn’t be tucked away.
Especially during the last years I learned to feel more and more, but it wasn’t easy to allow those feelings and apply them in my daily life. Until I got a taste of it. In a business conversation I was asked to accomplish a new task. I literally felt very bad. Before I nonetheless would have agreed to do it, but this time I not only felt this feeling, I listened to it and acted accordingly by saying: “I’d rather not do it, because it really doesn’t feel right. I even feel deeply unhappy when I think of this task.” I felt great and relieved! And proud. It was a grandiose recognition to my feelings. A grandiose gift to myself.
A look in his soul
On the pictures with this blog you can see the gift from my granddad to his children. He made a few copies of it. And where he may not have been able to share his inner feelings through words, he was able to through this exceptional creation…