Living in a spiritual community for a year, I commonly heard people say: “do what you feel like” or “eat what you want.” I was repeatedly told to follow my heart as it knows what I needed. Furthermore, I was told to keep an eye on external signals, as universe is constantly trying to communicate something to us. Overall, as a happiness coach, I think that this idea of trusting my emotions is ridiculous.
A pregnant woman may suddenly eat a pickle, chalk, or even dirt (you have to google it to believe it) whereas before she would never have an urge to do so. Later, scientist conclude that she was missing some essential nutrients in her diet that were present in these objects that she ate. People who hear these stories logically concluded that that if that women wouldn’t have fallowed her feelings, she would not have gotten correct nutrients she needed, so it is good that she did so, right? Not necessarily.
How many times did our feeling lead us in a wrong direction? How many times did we run back into the hands of our ex, whereas last time we saw them our relationship ended up in a huge fight. Or how many times did we know that we should not eat something or smoke that cigarette, yet we were unable to resist our emotions?
My conclusion is that our emotions are great and necessary on many levels, yet they lead us into completely wrong directions other times. This is to say that we cannot trust our emotions, at least without a certain level of skepticism.
The problem with our emotion start in a modern days. In the past, the world used to be quite volatile, but we had millions of years to adopt to this volatility, meaning that our emotions used to be quite correct. Recently, however, we have learned how to trick our emotions, often in incorrect ways. Today, we have impulsive towards completely wrong things, because marketers did a pretty good job to mess with our emotions.
They have continuously paired their ads with products that we may like, use, and even thing as necessities, yet which for all intents and purposes are killing us. Case and point of products like cigarettes, sweet drinks like Coca-Cola, and even shampoo, which no informed person in their right mind would ever use. Result of this pairing is that we love these products and use them daily.
Reversely, we often have to do things that we don’t want to do. I’m not even referring to the times we have to go to job we hate. We can have a dream job, or we are doing what we like, and still have things that we don’t like. This is perhaps why I often hear that happiness is not enough and we have to get our hands dirty.
Contrary to popular advice find a dreams job we are passionate to do for the rest of our lives, we are often told not to do this. Why? Because, while we will find some happiness and fulfillment in our job, the mere fact that we are obliged to do that what we like, will take away for this activity.
Specifically, we are often resistant to do things that we are told to do, even if these things are in our best interest. However, if we decide to do them from our own free accord, we will be that much more productive.
Indeed, we are often suggested to do something that we don’t like, so we can do what we like later. This is a case and point with many musicians I meet. They like music, but do they really need to make a profession out of it? There are so many young people who decide to study music professionally, just to find that when they graduate they cannot work in this profession. This is to say that often we need to keep things that we like as hobbies and support ourselves and families with actual jobs that pay the bills.
This is why I love some much physical exercise. On one side, if done right, it will make out bodies ache. Progressively, however, as we continue working out, we will find that although the pain never actually stops being there, we deal with this pain better to a point that we either don’t feel this pain or we start enjoying this pain.
This is when we experience a spillover effect. Now, not only can we deal better with pain while we are working out, but also in virtually every other part of our lives. This is to say what we should welcome pain, discomfort, and unhappiness into our lives, as it is a great teacher of how not to have this pain in the future.
Indeed, it is like fighting or traveling. At first, it may be scary and even feel dangerous to do so. But the more we do it, the less negative emotions of fear will control over our lives.
Altogether, there are many instances in life where in order to get somewhere where we want to go, we first have to go somewhere we don’t want to. Despite our strong desires, we may have fears, reservations, or uncertainties that hold us back. However, the moment we d what we wanted to do, suddenly we realize that everything that was holding us back is superficial, insignificant, or plain wrong.
To this point I really like this quote that states that “It is taboo the first time we do it. After that it is just something we do,” which to me means don’t trust your emotions and always push forward even if it is uncomfortable.