Emotional reasoning

April 15, 2009

Emotional reasoning…. simply put, “I feel this way, therefore it is this way”.

girl-in-painI am glad that today, I no longer believe this as much as I used to.  I no longer let my unreliable, inaccurate feelings convince the rest of me that reality is meaningfully reflected by my feelings.

I borrow this phrase from the practice of “Cognitive Behaviour Therapy”.  Which is psychobabble for “Learning to think differently”.

I am glad to have come accross a few methods that have served as tracks to run on that have helped me re-shape my thinking.  New thinking in turn reshapes my feelings.  And also helps me believe on a very genuine level that just because I feel a certain way, it does not mean that reality or truth is indeed that way.

More often than not, I have found that I am able to push through the tough feelings when they show up.  And show up they do.  More often than not, I can take a “ya, ya, whatever” attitude and just continue on and let the feelings do as they wish.  It is hard, it is agonizing sometimes.  But it gets easier and I always feel better in a short while.

After I push through, and the positive feelings follow, I always wonder what it was I felt bad about in the first place.  Which further convinces me that the feelings were unreliable in the first place.

I post this because I had an agonizing day this way.  I had some things to accomplish and the feelings were all over me.  As dark and hurtful as I can remember in a long time.  I wanted to quit and say just screw everything and take the day off.  I didn’t.  And now, a mere 3 hours later, lots has been accomplished and I am energized to face the next thing on the list.

Had I emotionally reasoned that the day would be as crappy as it started out feeling like it was, I would never be at this point sharing this and feeling good.

The 12 steps of AA are a big part of what has taught me this.  So is the work I do with my shrink.  So is what I learn from my faith.  So is what I learn from the likes of Dr. Phil.  So is what I learn from my fellow bloggers.  Using what I learn, not just talking or thinking about it, but actually DOING is what makes the difference for me.

Pressing through even when everything in me is in emotional agony and wants to quit.

It does work, and life does get better.





  1. No problems,only opportunities to use…

    “the program”

    More often than not, I have found that I am able to push through the tough feelings when they show up. And show up they do.

    And they’ll continue to, (albeit less and less frequently)I found that fighting them somehow seems to give them power,it’s like you’re playing their game… I have to acknowledge them (once)and rebuke them, then I’m just done with them stealing my time and I choose to stay focused on something more edifying. It’s a 180 degree shift to go from selfish behaviors to selflessness. One of my favorite analogies is about the river of life that we wade into, the further into it we go the less of our flesh is exposed to the fiery darts of the enemy. eventually, we reach the point that we’re not just over our heads but that we loose our footing and drift with the current, totally trusting in whatever it is that carries us along. it’s real freedom, In Christ!

    • AltonWoods…. you just described what I have come to understand as surrender. Not even stepping into the fight…. which was the theme of my post on Losers games. You win by not showing up.

      Seldom do I argue with thoughts in my head. As you say… just getting on with something else productive automatically ends the battle. Amazing how our old thinking patterns persist. They come knocking but we don’t have to open the door and talk to them.



  2. The battle isn’t ours Chaz…The thing that the enemy fears the most, is a believer who knows who he is “in Christ”

  3. […] been reading Chaz’ Journey Back, and similar to some of my past posts, he did an awesome post on feelings and the idea that “I feel this way, therefore, it is this way.” An excerpt: […]

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