December 08, 2004

The Weight of Emotions

Are small difficulties just as valid as large ones? Is the loss of an item to one person just as devastating as the loss of a loved one? Is a minor joy as an important as a great one? Does winning a prize in a local talent contest as worthy as winning the gold? Is there a way to measure these things? Can grief and joy ever really be measured on anything except a personal scale and how do we do it?

The loss of a loved one after a horrific illness may bring a shade of relief; the person is no longer in pain, physical, mental, or emotional. After a long and healthy life, it may be a sense of satisfaction; a life well lived. A small item, such as a pen, which may seem insignificant to most of the world may represent something of gravity to another-- a gift from a loved one, a prize won after a great deal of work. A award for singing might validate, even if just a local recognition, someone whose life has been full of failures, and may mean more than the gold for another who has won many prizes in his or her lifetime?

How do we know? How do we honor another's emotions when their feelings seem disproportionate to the event?

I am morose, in a funk, subject to a creeping malaise; personal stuff, minor events going on in my life that have me down a bit. But do I have a right to feel this way? When those I know and love are going through extreme changes in their lives, dealing with illnesses the loss of loved ones;do I have a right to feel sad?

Do I have the right to cry for the pain, metaphorically speaking, of a cut finger, when someone else is feeling the pain of surgery?

How do we weight emotions?

Posted by Rachel Ann at December 8, 2004 07:38 AM

I think if someone has some kinda personal problem, no matter what it is, we should not compare it with other peoples problems, but accept it all and try to help.

I don't care about awards for doing any kind of job, but it would be nice after you do something nice for someone that they wont forget about you, but that does not mean I'll stop doing nice things, because that's the way I am, or try to be, nice.

I hope you have a nice day, Rachel

Posted by: Rockchild at December 8, 2004 10:13 AM

Rachel Ann:

I think only you can assess the depth and expression of your own joys and pains, no matter how large or small. I don't think there is any need for comparative joy or grief. If someone else observes you or me or anyone and judges us too joyful or too morose, that is their problem, not ours. It is in the judgment of personal emotion that we probably overstep the bounds, not in the living it.

Posted by: Greg at December 8, 2004 02:41 PM

I liked your comment - made me think. I'm still thinking... It's pretty clear that no one can tell us how we ought to feel - our feelings are ours whether understood by anyone else or not. And yet it is only when we can accept our feelings that we can examine where they come from and gain perspective.

Posted by: Andrea at December 8, 2004 09:16 PM

We all feel what we feel, and sometimes it's easier to break down over the smaller things, because the larger ones are too overpowering.

Posted by: muse at December 9, 2004 01:31 PM

Pain is pain..who's to say which is bigger and which is smaller ? Sometimes comparing may help put things in perspective and help us deal with our pain and sometimes it just may not. Ultimately all pain is deeply personal and takes its own time to heal and we have bear our own my dear, don't be too hard on yourself or judge yourself too harshly.....
Take care and huggggs...

Posted by: cushion at December 11, 2004 06:24 PM

I think about this quite a bit. I have come to the conclusion that if I am upset about not making ends meet and how hard we work and still can't get ahead, well, that's a valid problem. I try to put it in perspective and be grateful that I have a place to live, food to eat...etc, but sometimes I still get down about it. Do I have to be dying or be homeless to have a valid gripe? Is my complaint "less" because it's not life threatening? All our feelings are valid.
If I have a sore foot and I am limping and in pain, it's not diminished because someone had their foot amputated due to diabetes. My foot still hurts. Yes, I am lucky to have my feet but still hurts!
Feel your feelings and don't feel guilty about having them.

Posted by: Robin P at December 11, 2004 08:31 PM
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