Thursday, May 3, 2018

Small Success Thursday/Cheer Up Essay

Hey Folks, here's today's link up to's Small Success Thursday, and here's an essay I wrote to cheer up a friend: 

Living Always Involves More Than Our Feelings

We live in an age addicted to feelings.   We want to feel smart, cool, in control, safe, secure, and properly aware.   We want to feel satisfied, we’ve exercised, eaten well, drank eight glasses of water and slept for eight hours.  We’re caffeinated. We’re opinionated. We’re connected and we’ve projected our informed, (and otherwise) opinions on the public. We will defend these thoughts we've just arrived at to the death, or at least, to the point of blocking someone. Hence, we’re trending, we’re awake, we’re involved.  We follow and we have friends. We’’ve checked what we should check, and invested where we should. We’ve ignored that which is not important, and we’ve signaled our virtue in all things, and all this alertness to how we feel, leaves little time or energy to think,do or say anything other than in the most precursory fashion. It is little wonder, we're exhausted and puzzled, how is it with all we have at our fingertips, we feel empty, disconnected and lonely?

The problem with feelings, (as we all know but often forget), is they fade.What's more, they don't count for much. Feelings change in an instant, in an hour, in a day. Regardless of how intense wwe feel something, if another something comes along, we will find ourselves having forgotten almost everything else with the arrival of new emotions. We'll puzzle if the prior feelings were real, or if the new ones should be justified, and wonder if we feel too much or just as much or lack intensity. There’s a degree of uncertainty, if we're not properly happy, calm, peaceful, brave, and poised because somehow, not feeling what we should, to the degree we think proper,is proof of personal failings to have all of life rightly ordered.  

What to do? There’s a popular saying, “Character is what we do when no one is watching,” but the reality is character is what we do when we don’t feel like doing anything, when it is only our will that determines our actions.    Rather than allow feelings to dominates your psychological landscape, decide how you will act. Do something which at the end of the day, you can say, “I did this, even if nothing else.” It can be working out, talking to a friend, spending time reading  a book. It can be a hug, a written letter, a phone call. The “it” can be an ice cream sundae, folded laundry or a blog post. Whatever the "it" is, it must be something done/created that is out of a sense of what is true, what is good, and what is beautiful.  Do in defiance of despair, in defiance of loneliness, in defiance of the outrage, depression and cynicism which dominates the internet and actual reality, act to create beauty, friendship, memories which can be recalled, rather than merely shared and “liked.”

The irony of these little acts against the tyranny of feeling are, they’ll give us back control over our feelings, by making our will, the dominant feature through which we understand and interact with the world.   We’ll feel better fnot because we sought to control the feelings, but because we sought not to be controlled by those feelings. Feelings are temporary and ephemeral. Who we are, is revealed by what we do when we don’t feel like it; when we’re not satisfied or gratified.   The discipline of persistence is our ongoing battle against the chaos, suffering and everydayness of the world, and the means by which we most often reveal the very best and sometimes most vulnerable parts of ourselves. So persist in doing what you know to be good, true and beautiful and resist the need to be affirmed, approved, or acknowledged for having even attempted it.  Do whatever it is, not for love or honor or glory, power or approval, but because you know whatever it is you do, must be done if the world is to be a little more true, good and beautiful, and know that tomorrow, you must “Begin again.”
My friend felt I'm chalking up this essay as what I did today, to fight against the chaos of the universe. 

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