This week, Patti gives us the opportunity to focus on emotions…to share portraits or street photography that captures people’s feelings, such as happiness, anger, sadness, curiosity, or fear.
Okay…this weeks lens-artist challenge, emotions, opens the door to one of my secret struggles…it is one of many that remain in a mud puddle of confusion.
I am not sure if I understand the difference between a feeling and an emotion.
So far this ongoing search for clarity has me understand an awareness of a feeling, like sadness, arises from my awareness of … tears/heart pain. I am able to acknowledge “anger” from a awareness of variations of speech and thoughts. Fear…the gut punch feeling in my stomach. I have experienced a lot of gut punch feelings since the latest events in Washington D.C.
I continue to ask myself, what is an emotion? I’ve looked at the word, emotion, and came to an awareness of “motion.” So, I’ve asked myself is emotion a feeling that motivates me to action? Today, at this moment in time, I’m going to go with yes…well…a tentative yes because within the word heroin is hero. There clearly is a mismatch there.
I do know for certain that to be driven by the emotional system often times is action that is separated from thinking. It can be action that is blocked from an awareness of moral shame, both internal shame or external shame. Now, I find myself questioning is shame a feeling, an emotion, or is it a mental formation that arises after a period of reflection?
Then I wonder…do feelings of anxiety (is anxiety a feeling or an emotion?) fog up a clear reflection of self with protective mechanisms of denial, rationalization, displacement, projection, and/or sublimation
Now…I ask myself are these defense mechanisms emotions…driven by feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, confusion.
I am certain that most of our communication with others is drawn from nonverbal communication. That is, the feelings/emotions that we interpret by another’s body language. Problems arise from this channel of communication when these interpretations are not clarified by the other.
I also believe that feelings are contagious; that is, a smile awakens a smile, a tear awakens a tear and fear awakens fear and anger awakens anger. I find that I just half smiled at this moment with an internal notation – we are impacted by a contagious virus as well as infectious feelings/emotions.
How are you feeling right now? I’m feeling a bit confused.