Families Are Forever
Book Two: Feelings, Those Rascals!
And Now We Feel
You change values by focusing on the new ones that you want to add. In doing so, those get stimulated and give out rewards which displace the old values. You avoid resentment feelings and learn how to turn the volume up of the new ones which eventually becomes loud enough to drown out the old value’s noise.
Values are the ‘shoulds’ of life but to be “should on” is no fun.
Most people want their feelings to be positive before they venture forward in a change. Except that it doesn’t work that way. Change occurs and if it is good change, good feelings follow.
A good old fashioned cry is still the best way to wash away mild bad feelings.
Dr. Dennis Cogswell
Here is How ‘It’ Goes
We feel good that you are here. . . We are so happy that you bought this book. . . We are so happy that you bought this book as this topic is very important. . . I’m so happy..
Which of these four sentences are a direct, affective based, expression of feelings? Which of these sentences is a cognitive based, set of thoughts about feelings?
“I’m so happy” is the only expression of feelings. The first three are all thoughts about feelings. Both are important and both will be the foci of this book.
Do you feel like you will be able to spot both or at least one type? Although this sentence uses the word “feelings”, it actually is a misuse. There are no feelings being expressed or focused on here. It is a cognitive question about your ability to assess differences.
How are you feeling about this book so far? You could respond either with a statement of your actual feelings: “Good” or many different statements of your thoughts: (1) Puzzled; (2) I don’t know. I am not into the book far enough to tell (3) I don’t like this type of beginning. Which is the best type of response? Both. It Depends.
“Depends on what?” you say.
“Great”, we respond. We have just entered into a dialogue which we like very much to have happen with our readers.
Is the word “like” a feeling word? No. It is a “valuing” word.
“Wait a minute”, you say. “I thought this chapter was about feelings? Now you have switched to values. Which is it?”
Both. Both feelings and values come from the same compartment or structure in your brain. That compartment/structure is known as the affective domain. Being both from the same psychological domain is what contributes greatly to the confusion about this. You see, both feelings and values can have the same amount of energy released with them, sort of like using the energy to carry the feeling or value outward and to help the listener pay more attention to it rather than a statement of thoughts, as this paragraph is. Both are important. Although this chapter focuses on feelings, we do explain much about values as comprehending one helps with the understanding of the other. Let’s continue doing both.
Nancy and I have emotions and we are guided by our values.
That is a thought, and a fact; it is neither a feeling nor a value.
I love you Nancy. That is a feeling stated. All my feelings have corresponding values.
“She is a good wife” relates to my values as to what is important to the way a woman behaves to whom I have become legally, emotionally, day-by day, 365/7 attached. That is called marriage by the State of Virginia and some others.[i]
If Nancy’s name was to be “Jean” and she had an operation to become “Gene”, would my feelings change? Would we still be married in the eyes of many people & churches[ii]? My feelings would likely stay the same unless overwhelmed by my values. I have written a statement that I believe to be true: “People think we think most of the time. That isn’t true. We feel or value much more often. Feelings always take president (or trump) thoughts but values take president (or trump) feelings.
Think about that as you go about your day and your week. Let us know what you discover; we will let you know what we have figured out on this as we are writing to share. Besides it feels good to be writing side by side.
Values and feelings can be wonderful or very limiting.
We often are slaves to our emotions. No, that is incorrectly stated. What is true is that we often are slaves to our values.
Guilt is my strongest feeling. No, that is incorrectly stated. Guilt is actually a value transgression. We say we “feel guilty” when we violate an internal value.
This book is all about feelings and values. We will describe them, tell how to change them. Change to us means either turning the volume down so low that you can’t hear them anymore or turning the volume up so that one benefits much more greatly from them. Values and feelings, once acquired, are very difficult to completely erase. One doesn’t change the volume by focusing on the feeling or value. One changes feelings by changing our thoughts and then changing our behavior and very soon the volume on that feeling gets changed. One doesn’t change a value by focusing on the value. Instead one thinks of a way to behave differently so that one gains new information which allows one to value something differently.
Is it ok to say “Hot Damn?” For me, yes. For others, no. How come? Values again.
Is “I love you.” a feeling or a statement of information? It can be either. One cannot tell by just reading those three words. Pay attention to the tone of voice and body language to know. .
Is it ok to talk about sexual feelings and sexual body parts in a book? What’s ‘private’ and what is not? Pun intended. May I mention breast and penis here? Perhaps. All humans have breasts; yes, even men. Some physiologists think that women have the equivalent of a penis. Do we ever talk about men’s breasts? Unlikely unless one is having a physical exam. Do we ever talk about women’s breasts? I know you don’t need an answer to that one. When we do. Are we more likely talking factually, feeling-wise, or value-wise? If you are offended by the content of this paragraph, you did that to yourself. It’s not bad or good that you did that, although our culture thinks it is bad to be offended.
Being offended is when our values are put into use and challenged. Having our values come into play can be a good or bad thing. It is good when doing so awakens us so that we are guided to something or some relationship that is positive. It is bad when it restricts us from something that is positive. But then again, the judgment of what is or is not positive is based on other values.
“Oh, dear” you say. “This is so confusing.” (feelings than thoughts).
You are correct. It is very confusing to we two authors and we have been struggling with this for a long time. Please then stay with us throughout the whole book as we work hard to clear things up and give you some baking tools so that your life is better.
This book will provide you with information about feelings and values, some that you knew and some that you didn’t. It will encourage you to think and behave. In terms of feelings, we will encourage and teach you to learn how to turn down your volume on your feelings when they are being overvalued, which is often. We will encourage you to turn up the volume on your feelings when that would be best for you and those you love.
Do people change? Absolutely. Do people resist change? Absolutely.
Examples will illustrate points made. They will come from us; some will be from the many people with whom we have worked in our lives. Will you be able to tell the difference? Unlikely.
When we use the pronoun “we” in this book, it includes Dennis and Nancy Cogswell, Dr. D., Nana, Kelly, Hobs and perhaps some others that wander in that we didn’t expect. We will work to let you know who is speaking.
Read on. If your trip in reading this is as much fun as our trip is in writing this, together we might be intimate. For a moment.
©Dr. D.’s Domains 2013 1534 Words 5 pages 2 Endnotes 31 March 2013
[ii]There is a difference between a specific local church and the religion of which that church is apart. For example, marriage is only a religious sacrament for some religious community or Christian denomination. It only became a sacrament in the early 12th century. Those dominations that do include: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and some branches of the Anglican Communication.