I have been reading a new blog lately. I cannot believe how she seems to write exactly what I am thinking. She writes it with a level of eloquence and prose that seems to escape me, so I hope she doesn’t mind me referencing her posts here as a springboard.
Today she wrote about The White Water Between Thinking and Feeling. The words that most connected with me were these:
…I use my mind to evade actual feeling. Often it hurts too much to feel, so I try to intellectualize things. This has been a defense mechanism of mine for a long time. It has something to do with what Pema Chodron says about “never underestimat[ing] the urge to bolt…it hurt(s) to much to experience my heart directly…
I do this all the time. One example: It wasn’t until a year after my grandmother’s death (I was with her at the time she passed) that I FELT my grief. I spent so much time intellectualizing it – “she was 96 and had a full life”, “she went without any pain,” “she was ready,” “I am glad I was there” – all of this intellectualizing but what I was FEELING was sad, lonely, angry, and lost.
I truly believe that it takes “a full passing of all seasons” (aka a year) to process any real large emotion, and this one proved it, it took me a year to get from intellectualizing to feeling. But I digress into grief, and away from how I use thinking to protect myself from feeling.
People that know me would say I am emotional. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I cry often. But yet, I protect myself with rationale, and logic because if I let myself feel every emotion I had, I would never get through my whole day. I empathize, I worry, I feel – sometimes too much I think.
But, I would rather feel too much, than not feel enough. The trick is in the balance. How do you balance feeling with thinking – do you protect your heart with your head?