Yesterday I visited my friend Cynthia Sitton’s art studio and was once again enamored by the beauty of her work and the dozens of pieces of art created by her students and mentees for a weeklong show titled Curiosities.
Change of Life
Her work, and the work she was exhibiting, reminded me of surprisingly surprising value of Feelings. Antonio Damasio nailed it when he said “It is not possible to talk about thinking, intelligence, and creativity in any meaningful way without factoring in feelings.” The influence of feelings governs so many of our decisions, pleasures, frustrations, creativity and the appreciation of beauty. Life without dominant feelings would be quite boring.
I most certainly have, for some time, been experiencing a change of life where the very substrate of my reality seems to be in recomposition. Although I have always identified strongly with my more feminine side, it is becoming an increasingly dominant force in my perception of the ways in which I make sense of the world.
Feelings: The Connection to Life
Without feelings, we wouldn’t be able to respond to beauty—which may be our mightiest conduit of connection with the living world—and therefore wouldn’t be able to recognize and classify things as beautiful; we wouldn’t distinguish between pleasurable and painful experiences; we wouldn’t have ideals that motivate us to reach beyond ourselves; we wouldn’t register the rewarding gratification of making a discovery or exercising generosity or creating something new, and therefore wouldn’t be impelled to do those things.
Thinker or Feeler
Historically I have been a logical and analytical thinker and I have made most of my decisions based what the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) describes as the function of thinking. This is typically male (although it includes a very large percentage of women) and is typically an American point of view.
For sure, feelings are construed a bit prominently in females because our society has given this vital life function more credit to females than it has to males.
I guess the impact of post-enlightenment continues to linger. In that framework of mindfulness there seems to be a tendency to over-value the Thinking trait as superior to that of Feelings. This attitude towards feelings arises whenever a person is known for being too “emotional” or prone to emotional outbursts of anger or sadness.
The Divine Feminine
But my change of life has been dominated by what my Spiritual Advisor refers to as the Divine Feminine and my capacity to get deeply in touch with valuable and necessary feelings. I am more creative, more compassionate and driven less objectively than subjectively.
The results are much more pleasurable as well as closer to the heart of my truer self. I am a Feeler. The MBTI indicates that for my “Type” feelings tend to emerge more strongly as we hit a bit older age. And man, am I pleased with it.
I think there is a certain degree of attachment that comes with me when I am driven by feelings, just as I am more detached when thinking dominates. I feel closer to my work, more compelled to create, and much more compassionate at caring than ever.
Attached or Detached
As “we” beings, an isolated and detached mentality fails to address our needs for inclusivity, which is a most basic human need.
Yes, a full life must be composed of the recognition of the high value of our feelings.
Feelings are No Doubt Your Route to a Complete Life
Photo courtesy of ulkas at istockphoto