“I feel (whatever you choose to place here) is offensive and should not be allowed!” This is the mantra of our time and needs to stop!
Fact: Feelings are always real but not always accurate!
This is a reality I needed to not only learn but train myself to apply to many different areas of my personal life. Here are 3 examples.
When I was married the first time I promised to “love, honor and respect” my wife. I can honestly say I did this to the very best of my ability. I worked at being better with communicating my love for my wife. I was held accountable by close friends as to how I thought I was doing. I read books and even attended marriage classes to become a better loving spouse. Needless to say the marriage ended.
I love to go out to dinner and enjoy a great steak. When I have the opportunity to do this with friends the experience is even more enjoyable. I am a member of Morton’s Steak House that specializes in aged beef. When you order the double-fillet not only do you get it the way you wanted it, but it is so tender you can almost cut it with a fork. The flavor is amazing and is only matched by the moist, juicy, tender texture of the meat. Unfortunately, when I go to Morton’s I eat much more than I should.
My faith and being a member of a local church and other organizations has always been an intricate part of my life. I am drawn to being involved with people. I was active in my high school Rodeo Club, the Boy Scouts, and now the American Legion and the Southern Cruisers Riding Club. These organizations are good. They even do great things. They offer us a place to belong but sometimes we lose our individual identity.
Feelings are always real but not always accurate, lets unpack these three examples.
Marriage- When one makes a commitment to another there are no guarantees that it will be honored, accepted or received. Often this is the failure of both spouses. This can be true with children and in every relationship. The truth is just because our love, commitment or anything else is not received it does not mean it was not sincere, legitimate, or real. The key to maintaining commitments is relying on a mental trust instead of an emotional feeling. I also believe when you give someone the power to control your feelings you have given that person too much power.
Eating- I have a tendency to become so engrossed with the experience and the atmosphere I neglect to consider how much food I am consuming. Drinking beer and eating chips or hot wings will have the same effect on me. The satisfaction of my taste buds overwhelms my brain. I have learned that I can still enjoy all the delicacies I love, just in moderation. This very concept of moderation is that I must know when too much is too much. It requires an objective perspective minus the feelings.
Membership- When we become a member of any organization often a level of service or attendance is an expectation. I really enjoy doing life and completing projects with others. A friend once said “the activities we do together are great but the fellowship and the time we spend together is what makes us strong”. This statement is true. Unfortunately I can become so involved within the organization I end up loosing myself in the process. When our identity becomes so dependant on the group to which we belong we lose ourselves. We are trusting in feelings and have become people pleasers.
These are three examples every one of us can identify with on a personal level. We must stop living in our small world and begin living in the real world. My feelings are mine. Your feelings are yours. Just because I feel something does not mean you feel the same. Feelings do not always have a factual foundation. When we do defer to our feelings, we have no standard. When we have no standard on which to base our decisions, our decisions are no longer trustworthy.
My faith. My flag. The organizations to which I belong and with whom I identify. The clothes I wear and the lifestyle I choose. These things you can either applaud or pity, but your feelings are yours and yours alone.
See you on “The Open Road”