A little square box
Your feelings are you, your thoughts probably not. I see a big question mark on your imaginary face: "What is she on about now?" Let's take a closer look: for example, if you feel angry (or sad, scared, anxious or depressed etc.) a lot of the time you might think that you shouldn't feel like this, that you should be kinder, more patient, happier, nicer so that you can fit in with society more smoothly. You might think that there is something wrong with you. While all this is going on in your mind you probably believe that these thoughts are coming from you, and that your so-called bad feelings are a kind of alien intruder, something that shouldn't be there.
What if you've got it the wrong way around? What if what you feel is coming from the real you, and what you think (what kind of person you should be or that you shouldn't feel what you feel) is coming from outside? What if your thoughts are the alien intruders? What we think or how we think is usually planted into our minds from the start of our lives. Parents and other authority figures let us constantly know in many different ways how we should or shouldn't be, what we should or shouldn't feel, how we should or shouldn't behave.
Some of this is okay to a certain degree so that we will be able to exist and function in society. But if we are getting too many shoulds and shouldn'ts we won't be able to develop according to our innermost self, the person we are by nature. This will cause a reaction from our innermost self: if it feels suffocated and crushed it will react with anger, sadness, fear or anxiety etc.
So, if I feel angry a lot of the time, my innermost self is trying to tell me something: This is not who I really am, you don't hear me or see me, you don't listen to me, and this makes me so angry! But because we are brainwashed into dismissing our feelings we will side with our thoughts instead, the thoughts that say: Don't be stupid! You have no reason to be angry, it's bad to be angry. Don't feel angry! As we were forced to fit into a little square box when we grew up we now keep doing the same thing to ourselves; we keep trying to force ourselves into the little square box. We don't listen to that inner voice that keeps trying to tell us that things are going very badly indeed for our true nature. The longer we don't listen the worse we feel.
Counselling can help you to claim back your true nature and to learn to listen to your true self again.
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.
About Judith Schuepfer-Griffin
My name is Judith, and I'm writing in the way I do because I would like to make psychological thinking more accessible for everyone. I have noticed that it often helps to create a context within which new ideas make more sense. With my articles I'm trying to create that context and hopefully also an enjoyable reading experience.