can’t help the way I feel

Joshua made me a lovely mix-CD with songs from Ingrid Michaelson‘s newest album, “Lights Out“, and miscellaneous Colbie Caillat songs of which he approves (Joshua is very discriminating when it comes to music, and will not buy any songs that focus on negative emotions or contain profanity, among other things – I feel very protected).

One of the songs, Colbie Caillat’s “What Means the Most“, contains the line, “I can’t help the way I feel.” Sometimes a song gets a little fuzzy, and we can’t understand some of the lyrics, but this line stands out clearly. I can’t help the way I feel.

I find this very interesting.

I so totally disagree with this concept. One of my pet peeves is emotions and the control we have over them. I used to say (often) that I didn’t have any emotion; that I was stone cold and didn’t feel anything. In exploring my softer side, I have since discovered that I do, indeed, have many emotions. I just have a lot of control over them. Sometimes I have too much control, and don’t allow myself to feel anything when I really should feel something.

However, in our culture, it seems to me that we are raising a generation of emotionally-irresponsible adults. Children are told all their lives that emotions are something that happen to them. We can’t help who we love (because love is an emotion), we can’t help the way we feel about something, we can’t control depression (except with pills).

This is ridiculous.

Emotions are mind games. We can rise above, we can beat them down, we can banish them from our minds and spirits. We CAN help the way we feel. That’s how people who have been married for 50+ years do it: on the days you wake up without a shiver of love in your heart for your spouse, you CHOOSE to love, you CHOOSE to stay and care. Colbie Caillat would have us believe that we can shrug and say, “I can’t help the way I feel.” No wonder over half the world is divorced.

I cannot remember a time when my emotions overran my more rational, logical side, so I cannot help those of you who are being overpowered by the beast. All I can say is, it can be done. We most certainly can help the way we feel. It is difficult at times, but it CAN BE DONE. Emotions are not something that just happen to us. Emotions are things we can harness and control and release when the circumstance demands it. Emotions can be put to good use.

Don’t let your emotions control you. Help the way you feel.

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