John Green recently discussed gun control somewhere (He does so much in so many places I have a hard time finding the origin of things) and while I’m sure it was great – this A to a Q interested me much more as commentary on the validation of feelings. Someone discussed the value of feeling safe if they have a gun in their home, knowing they can protect their home and their family if the need arises. This was part of John’s response:
I understand your feeling, and the feeling is real and important, but our gut feelings are often incorrect.
Like, to give you an analogous example: I feel like I am going to die every time I get onto an airplane, but this gut feeling I have is wrong. Maybe I will someday die on an airplane, but if I need to go to Los Angeles for some reason, I am statistically far safer flying than I would be driving, so if one of my big goals is not wanting to die (and it is!) then I should fly, even though I feel less safe than I would if I were driving.
While I think it’s a GREAT and valid point with gun control (he goes on to provide statistics about whether or not you’re actually safer in a home with a gun) I am more interested in it – YOU GUESSED IT – as a discussion of FEELINGS.
I am a very big believer in the idea that feelings – although sometimes illogical – should not be ignored. For example, my husband doesn’t understand how/why I need extra validation regarding my role as a wife or a Mother. And while I understand that – logically I should know he thinks I’m a good wife or Mom – I often don’t feel like a good wife and so those feelings still need to be addressed somehow. You can’t logic away feelings.
Kinda like I’m sure that John needed more than just a statistical report to get over his fear of flying. I’m sure it took more than a page of numbers for him to go, “Ah! I am no longer scared!”
He probably thinks of those stats constantly to calm his nerves, but there probably needed to be mantras said, or medication taken, early on too.
So, when I’m feeling down on myself as a wife or a Mom, I can logically tell myself, “I’m a good Mom! I’m a good wife!” And look at the evidence to support it, but logic doesn’t automatically erase feelings. It takes more than that.
I just like it as an argument the next time Donnie is all, “But it doesn’t make sense for you to feel that way!” I can say, “Yes, just like someone with a fear of flying needs more than statistics to get them on the plane, I need more than logic and sense to help me with this feeling.”
Feelings aren’t logical, and while you can adjust your mindset over time, it takes more than a page of statistics or a logical defense.
No point, really, to this entry. Once again, just nice to catalog helpful points of view when trying to explain something as complex as FEELINGS to someone.
Have a great Saturday!