Feeling is living

‎”Some people think that to be strong is to never feel pain. In reality, the strongest people are the ones who feel it, understand it, and accept it.” ~ Unknown

One of the things I learned was the part of living is feeling.  In a photography class several years ago before I integrated, I was challenged to take pictures every day.  When we had over 500 pictures to choose from, we were assigned to create a sequence of pictures that go together.  I struggled and struggled.  How did one decide how to put which picture next to another?  I asked the professor.  His reply, “Go with what you feel.”  RIGHT….. I had a problem…I didn’t feel.  One of the interesting things about being a multiple personality is that feelings can be assigned to one alter (alter is a clinical name for one of the personalities, I preferred parts of myself since all the parts were still me they weren’t alternatives to me) or divided between several alters.  The personality taking the class didn’t feel any emotions.  I asked the professor to give me some extra time.  I met with him in his studio.  I had a huge stack of my pictures.  I then explained to him that I struggled with feeling how the pictures could go together.  I then explained my difficulty feeling emotions.  He told me that he thought that would be great to feel no emotional pain.  I knew he had two teenage daughters.  I said, “OK, imagine for a moment a few years from now.  Your daughter is getting married and you really like the guy she is marrying.  You are so happy for her….but you can’t tell her because the emotion is blocked.”  He thought for a moment.  He agreed that not being able to feel was not good.  He then showed me how to take the pictures and work through ways to show that pictures link together, same color, similar shape, same subject different perspective, and many other ways to link photographs together.  As I learned to sequence I also learned to access my emotions.  My final book was a series of pictures of my kids and grandkids with all my emotions involved.  Photography became my place to experiment with how I felt that was a relatively safe environment.  If you don’t feel anything, it is hard to express connection to anything.  The essence of interpersonal relationships is about what you feel.  My counselors are always pushing me to connect with what I feel.  I learned the hard way that just because I can’t express an emotion doesn’t mean I can’t feel it.  I now enjoy a full array of emotions.  Emotions can be very tiring.  I retreat for a time.  Then I am ready to go again and enjoy connecting with emotions and people.  To feel is to live and to live is to feel.  I am thankful for the teaching from my two counselors that opened up my heart to expressing how I feel.  I am happier than I ever imagined possible.  I also can feel hurt.  I can also feel peace.  I can also feel bored.  I can also feel bewildered.  I can also feel love and share it.  Emotions are amazing things.

Laurel posted a link to another perspective on the same theme.

Beautiful sound
Complete peace

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