Can you trust your feelings?

There’s a widespread perception that feelings are an untrustworthy guide.

I think this probably comes from situations where people have bucked the conventional trends and rules of life and justified it rightly or wrongly on the basis of feelings that defy scrutiny and interrogation.

“It just feels right to me!”

But the same thing happens all the time with thinking. Thinking too can be an untrustworthy and dangerous guide for many people, but in those instances we tend to label them “stupid” or “irrational” or “stubborn” rather than criticise them for thinking per se.

The truth is that there’s such a thing as good and bad feeling, just as there is good and bad thinking.

What makes either one good or bad is the degree of honesty with oneself, and the knowledge in and around the thought or feeling that guides us.

For example, if we think that vaccination is bad for us, or that raw chicken is okay to eat, then we are being guided by thoughts that are either insufficiently scrutinised or else coloured by some ulterior motive.

Similarly, our feelings can be coloured by deeper motives, or we can be mistaken in our own interpretation of them.

In accord with temperament, I think we can use either thinking or feeling to work out what we want to do. But it’s up to us to be honest with ourselves and clear about the nature of the thoughts or feelings we are following.

Perhaps the best way to put it is that both our thoughts and feelings should be genuine or authentic. In my own life I seem to get into trouble when – either thinking or feeling – my words and actions are coloured by ulterior motives of which I am not fully conscious.

Things like insecurity, escapism, avoidance and so on.

I might have a desire to say something, but what is driving that desire? Is it the genuine expression of a good feeling, or is it a shady evasion of a bad one?

One thought on “Can you trust your feelings?

  1. as the most trustworthy feeling/emtions
    ones that come by way of the best use of human intellect
    being humbly convicted of this biblical truth
    Rom 11:32  For God hath shut up all men in disobedience, that upon all men he might have mercy. 
    and being thus convicted of one’s responsibility for one’s darkened heart
    one repents and accepts the holy spirit as one’s teacher
    thereby obtaining a renewed heart and if one persevers in being taught
    one then comes to know the mysteries of the bible and thus a renewed mind where…. then…

    heb 5:12  For ye ought to be teachers, seeing ye have been long in the doctrine. But now ye need to learn again the first lines of the commencement of the oracles of God: and ye have need of milk, and not of strong food. 
    Heb 5:13  For every one whose food is milk, is unversed in the language of righteousness, because he is a child. 
    Heb 5:14  But strong food belongeth to the mature who, being investigators, have trained their faculties to discriminate good and evil. 

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