Why you’re afraid to know the real reason you feel the way you do

Why You’re Afraid To Know The Real Reason You Feel The Way You Do

A pensive woman sitting at her computer, head down in thought.

At one time or another, everyone has been surprised or confused about why they feel the way they do. It can slap you in the face during a heated argument…or sneak up on you hours later, seemingly disconnected from any one thing or another.

However or whenever it shows up, it’s a reaction that seems out of place or inappropriate for the situation it’s attached to. It may not seem like you, which is always confusing. You may have even embarrassed yourself by what you said at the time. And, get this: it almost always makes you angry and defensive. No one likes feeling angry, but anger is still better than shame. Ask as many people as you want…no one likes feeling angry. It’s tiring. It wrecks the mood. And no offense to my skunk friends, but it’s like a stink that sends people running. It seems like something you’d want to change, or at least avoid, doesn’t it? You’ll have to forgive me here, but I’m going to cut right to the chase on this one. We can come back around later and provide a more nuanced explanation, but for now, let’s get right to it. So if nobody likes being angry, you might ask, what’s hiding behind the anger? Ah…and you see, that’s the problem, because what’s under the surface is worse than the anger. It’s shame. We’re ashamed because longer ago than we can remember, we formed a belief that we’re inferior or damaged. A belief that somehow we’re unacceptable, unlovable. That shameful belief is why you’re afraid to know the real reason you feel the way you do.

 And, I say…big deal! So what? 

We all have the human propensity for one or more of these beliefs…and none of them is true! None of them! Basically, this is one of those situations where, if you turn on the lights, the monsters disappear. They disappear because they were never really there. They were a figment of your dysfunctional beliefs. 

I get angry about dysfunctional beliefs for all the unhappiness they cause. And, the fear that keeps us from exposing them makes me twice as angry!

Meant to be viewed in black and white

Once, when I had a video of a total knee replacement that had to be edited, the entire procedure was of course, shot live in the operating room. It started with a 16 inch incision down the front of the immediately bleeding knee. Then the flesh had to be pulled out of the way for sawing  and removing the bones that were to be replaced. I sent the video to a post production studio for the editing, and when I arrived the editor had the color on the monitor turned completely down. Before I could ask about it, with a great deal of emphasis, he announced: this is meant to be viewed in black and white! I grinned and then we had quite a good laugh about it.

It may help to turn the color down on shame and fears, too.

Just like flesh and bone, shame and fear—and well, all emotions and feelings, for that matter—may get messy at times, but they’re still just simple facts of our existence. They can’t hurt you, they have no power over you…they don’t even know you exist! So, let’s look at them in black and white and see if we can’t all get desensitized to shame and fear.

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