I FEEL! DO YOU FEEL?
There is another episode, and another – in my opinion – pretty difficult topic, because it is about feelings. However today Bartek, psychology, but also theology and philosophy student is my guest, so I think he has wide prospects to share about feelings and emotions today. As a titbit I want to say, that Bartek spent a month on a mission in Kenya, there he looked after kids, so he certainly could experience a lot of feelings and sensations there. Maybe it’s rather complex pun, but it will be the particular words, we will focus on today. So let’s get going!
Today we will talk about emotions, feelings, a little bit about opinions, about values, but primarily about feelings. I have already introduced Bartek to you, so as you know he is a very colorful character, so as I expect it may be really awesome and smashing material, because I think you can tell us a lot of interesting things about feelings right?
I hope so! We will see, if viewers will share these feelings.
I hope they will, because it is hard not to share feeling and emotions in your presence. First we want to start with: How to talk about these feelings. But before I ask what you can tell us about that, I’m curios what youth from Tuchów thinks about that this time. So lets listen to their answers beforehand.
Bastek, is it easy to talk about your feelings?
It depends… It depends for whom.
So tell me, how to talk to another person
How to talk…. I think, that you should say what do you fell, from the heart.
Asiu, how to talk about feelings in your opinion?
It’s pretty easy for me… it depends also on who you talk to, because you need to trust someone to tell him something.
And is it easy to talk about your own feelings.
It depends when.
What to do, how to talk about feelings, especially when they are various.
– I think that feelings are problematic topic in so far as they concern all of us, because you experience them all the time, actually we are open – I don’t want to say exposed, because it sounds negatively – to experiences of various kind, so also reactions, practically every day; at the same time people don’t take into account that different people have varying degree of access to one’s self; that – you sometimes say “emotional intelligence” – isn’t on the same level for everyone. I don’t mean, to treat anybody as worse person, it just deserves consideration, that, what I’m communicating, will not be taken the same way by everybody, that what I want to communicate to somebody, will be clear and understandable, and will be interpreted correctly.
Right, to the same situation, same event, that evokes some feelings in us – that you said, we are open for every day, because life brings a lot of such emotional and affectionate situations – everyone can react differently. But I like to look at this a little bot more practically, so lets assume: we are in some relationship with a friend, we are somewhere in group and something happens. And everyone feels it different way. And now how do you approach this matter, how to talk this over so as not to argue – that what we feel in different way, that I have different sensing – so as not to makes us fall out with one another, but we could settle our differences.
I will begin from a different viewpoint: I will touch on what is cause of our different ways of feeling, and perceiving reality. That’s because everybody has different experiences, firstly family crosses my mind, because family is…
“Basic unit of society we live in”
I didn’t want it to sound so formally – such “unit”, group that you function in, you earn various social skills – that’s how you call it – in different development stages, and everybody has just different kind of sensitivity – a specific word can be associated differently, someone may for example have traumatic experience, that unfortunately leaves its sign so strongly, that in hindsight, even after years has passed, saying some word that – theoretically – could be totally neutral, other person feels, that they hit that pool, that sphere, which is hurt and fragile somehow, and – for example – they will rapidly spring back, feel, that they retreat into themself, because it touches some very sensitive sphere.
I think that everyone has such own sphere, that is better left untouched, because it may hurt.
That’s what I was going for. I think that primarily self-awareness, to know why I react this, and not the other way. What is the source of it. Because when I gain that wisdom, I can share it with other person. When I engage in some relationship, and I see that it kicks into high gear, that I want to be more connected every day, then sometimes, somehow naturally I share that knowledge about myself, I even help, someone, I give such “manual” of myself: “I know, that in such situation I react this way, because – for x – I know, that something happened in the past”. I think that it is important to do your best to “sense” the other person, and on the other hand to have such kind of openness, that when something touches me, it doesn’t mean it was that person’s intention, to hurt me – it also doesn’t mean that nobody ever does have such intention – but to do one’s best to step into that person’s shoes, to verify, what really was other person intent.
– After all what you said the second question comes up to me: If these feelings are so diverse, our reactions are diverse – because one result from the other – do these feelings always have to be understood? And this time I always ask youth of Tuchów to answer first.
Now, they don’t. Why?
It is certainly nice, when someone understands us.
Do our feeling always have to be understood?
And what does it gives us if they are?
Then we know, that this person understands us, what we tell about it.
Do they always have to be understood?
No, no. Just because the reasons I spoke of before, that relationship is some kind of strand, bridge between two people; it’s a living tissue, two organisms, that somehow interact, interinfluence and sometimes, to reach someone you need to attune or clash.
We clash with situation that we don’t understand; for example I often clashed with situation, that someone totally couldn’t understand my faith – that’s for example. I think that most often I clashed with incomprehension; “I don’t understand”, “I don’t accept that” and “I don’t like that”. How do you approach such problem?
From what I read, and my own experience, I think that largely it comes from fact that on the deep level, we have it uploaded that there is “me” and a stranger, some kind of tribal thinking – you could reference to evolutionary psychology, where it origins from, but there is strong tendency in us to distance ourself from what we don’t understand. The term “xenophobia” itself comes from the Greek word “Ξένος” – different and “φόβος” – fear. So when I realize, that the difference doesn’t come from the fact, that someone wants to hurt me, that he threatens me, then I can get that openness.
So we shouldn’t start with the premise that: “You don’t understand me, so u are hostile”, but to think: “You don’t understand it for some reason, because of some experience, that doesn’t let you understand my attitude, my feeling just now”?
Yes! As you broached the subject of faith, its faith that touches very intimate spot and now it comes to my mind – psychologist, Victor Frankl was doing research work, that if you provide human with convenient conditions, that he feels safe, that he can converse, talk about his inner life, then it comes much easier for him to talk even about sexual matters than about spiritual experience, about religion. That shows, that it is so ingrown dimension of us, that we need that complacency , that if someone gets into it, they won’t interfere offensively, that they won’t try to hurt me. I also think – not hiding it – people just often picture faith as some set of do’s and don’ts, some sort of ideology, just kind of scheme according to which…
We should live and function settling on this one religion we engage to.
Partly that’s the way. But it is more of net result of what we believe in as Christians – we are governed by decalogue, because it arises from personal meeting. For someone from outside someone can have a feeling that they don’t liv up to our ideals, beliefs of sort: “he doesn’t attend church every week”. For me it is strange, if someone didn’t have such experience and required attending to Mass every week of himself. This is like the last link in the chain, that results from the fact, that I want it, because I experienced something more.
Yes, I experience personal relationship with Jesus, I feel his presence and engagement in my life, and thereupon I want to get closer to Him, including Sunday Eucharist and then it is of huge value for me, and I understand the meaning of this Eucharist.
Yes, now it comes to my mind about the Ten Commandments – for me it is, so to speak, comforting intuition once I was really moved, when I saw, that if you check how the Ten Commandments sound original, where we know “do not kill” its not “do not kill but “thou shalt not kill”. Essentially the difference is subtle, but including the context God says to man: “If you are with me thou shall not kill, I am going to do my job in your inner life, thou shalt not steal, thou shall not commit adultery etc.”. So again, it all comes from what happened before, what is our experience. And I think that it is worth the effort to come back to this origin, you can see it well in everyday behavior.
It transfers into our lives.
What is the freedom of feelings? Because it is often talked about, moreover, it is loud now about this “freedom” in the broad sense, sometimes I have the impression that it is not fully understood. And here I would like to ask you, but first – I do not hide – I am very interested in what the young people will say about it.
What is freedom of feeling for you?
Freedom of feelings is talking about your feelings to another person, it seems to me that without such “embarrassment” in my opinion.
What does it matter in the relationship?
What does it matter? Well, it matters a lot, you know, it’s probably about not being ashamed of yourself and talking to each other about how we feel. Then the relationship is healthy.
What do you think freedom of feeling is?
When I have a person to confide in and tell her everything.
And what does it mean to you? Such freedom?
Freedom of feeling …?
As I mentioned somewhere at the beginning about this experience, that this freedom comes to us to a different degree, it depends to a large extent on how we were perceived as children, when we did something and saw that “there are some limits here, you must not exceed”. I think it’s good to realize that no feeling, no emotion is bad – in terms of feelings, emotions, they are all morally neutral; having something inside me, even something that might seem unpleasant, isn’t bad – it can be difficult. Some kind of anger, aversion to a certain situation, paradoxically when I suppress it in myself, when I do not notice it and somehow I will not want to do something about it, I will not shake it off or I will pretend it is not in me, then at some point it cannot be denied anymore, it will build up so much that a situation will come and I will just explode; then someone would get hit by ricochet, when it wasn’t his business at all, it wasn’t he who was the cause, it was the pebble that made the avalanche go. That is why I think that this self-awareness is so important and – combining it also with the element of faith – I strongly believe that it was God who created us in such way that we are unity. Man is the body, mind and spirit – it is amazing in general, because the first letters show a MIRACLE (pl. Ciało, Umysł, Duch – CUD) that man is a MIRACLE, so I like to think about it in this way, because it also emphasizes this dignity in some way. Hence – the fact that I am experiencing something, an emotion, tells me what is happening inside of me, just all these levels intertwine with each other. For example: the way I eat affects how my body functions; how the body functions affects, what condition I am in, what my mood is; it already influences my thoughts; and from what my thoughts are, it is close to what decisions I make, and this, in consequence, affects the spirit itself; or on the other hand, if the spirit is infected, it will also come out.
That is, understanding the freedom of feelings by the fact that we have the right to each of these emotions, which we feel, we have the right to experience them and none of them will be bad for us, because each of them results from something; and the question is how much we will be able to find in our self-awareness a way to handle it: do I need to go for a run, do I need to go to the gym, or do I need to go to church and pray for it.
The emotions themselves are by no means bad, but what we do with them – we suffer the consequences for that. That is why it is worth watching it carefully on early stage.
Thank you very much for this conversation, I think that we could continue this topic for a long time, so maybe there will still be an opportunity to record something together or talk about it again. Thank you for being here with us, thanks again Bartek. Bartek also runs a channel called “Banita z wyboru”(“Outlaw by choice”) in the media of Instagram, Facebook and you can find him on YouTube – and what will they find there?
Well, in fact, the content is very similar to the one we discussed today, because there is a lot about human, so about psychology, spirituality, culture and art in broad sense. But I hope it’s not pompous, but on a daily basis, where everyone will be able to find something for themselves.
If this conversation inspired, and intrigued you, as much as me – because I’m even more interested, even though I know Bartek’s work a bit and I know these pages – then I invite you to “Banita z wyboru” to learn more and see this perspective on life, culture, faith, psychology, theology and the world in very broad sense from Bartek’s point of view and see you in a month. God bless!