Do you have your feelings? Or do your feelings have you?

Communication, Man Up/Woman Up, Relationship Design, Sex and Intimacy

so cliché
Creative Commons License photo credit: Scarleth White
Editor’s Note: This post is by Simple Marriage contributor Mary Ann Crossno.
Have you ever thought about the difference in the meanings of the words emotions and feelings? Most people, when asked to describe how these words are different, are stumped. A common answer is that emotions are stronger and more intense than feelings. Lots of people think the words are interchangeable.
How often do you hear yourself saying, “You make me feel . . .” and the end of the sentence depends on the feeling of the day, the hour, or the minute!

You make me feel like a million dollars.

You make me feel worthless.

You make me feel beautiful and sexy.

You make me so angry! So happy! So sad! So mad! So bad! So glad!

You make me feel like I don’t do anything all day long.

How old were you when you first had the thought that you would love to get off the roller coaster of high feelings and low feelings that you seem to have no control over?
Do you say “I feel” instead of “I think” when expressing a thought?
So what’s difference between your feelings and your thoughts?
Our culture is saturated with the pursuit of a feeling state of being. Our feelings are the bulls-eye target for most politicians, preachers, advertisements, actors, and songwriters. And almost every one of us made a lifelong commitment to spend the rest of our life with someone based on our feelings!
Can you choose your feelings? Or are you at the mercy of your feelings? What, if anything, do your thoughts have to do with your feelings?
I’ve got some definite ideas about all these questions. But before I tell you what I think, I want to hear from you.
Do you have your feelings . . . or do your feelings have you?