Can Feelings Be Trusted?

trust your feelings

This New Year’s Eve, I made a promise to myself–a resolution of sorts–to self-actualize into a person with the emotional intelligence to understand why I feel the way I feel and trust my feelings are true. I guess fate doesn’t discriminate on the nobility of new year resolutions because even a resolution as noble as mine has hit a minor snag. The snag: can feelings be trusted?

Repressing emotions, while virtually guaranteeing me an early death, has had its benefits. Ignoring feelings has allowed me to see the world for what it truly is without emotional biases: a sordid, black-and-white burg that doesn’t appreciate me. I assure you that this a perfectly rational, feelings(of neglect)-free assessment. Since I began listening to my emotions, my judgement has become clouded, the stark black and whites of the world around me have swirled into a rich palette of greys. 

The influx of irrationality in my world since letting myself feel emotions has been staggering. Since letting myself feel feelings, mostly I just cry uncontrollably at any stimuli, even slightly sentimental bus ads fires up the waterworks. If that does not assure you that feelings are irrational then I don’t know what will because not everything should be making me cry. Not me, a person who just recently stopped repressing their emotions. 

Can feelings be trusted? Not wholly. Like everything in life, we can only put faith in our feelings in moderation. Trust in an emotion should be reserved for feelings we know are reality-based. Trust should be withheld from emotions spawned underneath our subjective, grandiose/self-loathing lens. 

Which feelings are reality-based? Reality is consensus-based. For example, the sky is blue because we all agree that there is no other colour to describe it. Therefore, the only way to know if our feelings our trustworthy, ergo rooted in reality and not skewed by our singular view, is to collect a consensus on how others feel about a particular feeling. I will leave the method of collection up to your discretion, but if you all feel the same way, your feelings are justified and should be trusted. If your feelings are not shared by 51% of the sample-size, then disregard. Those feelings are as baseless as they are self-sabotaging.

Some of you may balk at the suggestion that we should only trust feelings and emotions if they are shared by at least a 51% majority.

“This strips us of emotional autonomy!” you say.

“Trusting feelings based on consensus is appalling advice because, as we all know, a horse designed by consensus is a camel!”

Well, you have got some nerve. I personally believe that camels are quite cool (and I’m a big fan of the cigarette brand in case anyone from the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is reading this and is interested in breaking into the sponsored content craze). How dare you accuse their humps and bad temper being indicative of their poor designed? Shame on you for not believing that there is potential for beauty in all flaws, including bad temper and water-storing humps.

If a horse designed by consensus is a camel, then feelings created in a vacuum are a Trojan horse. They may appear to be beautiful gifts that look like a giant wooden horse, but rest assured if you let them in without checking with everyone if it’s OK, you’ll be stabbed through the heart by Odysseus while you sleep because there were saboteurs hiding in there all along. At least building a camel by consensus is closer to a real horse, physiologically speaking, than a Trojan horse.

I’m so confused by this metaphor I could cry…

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