Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Monday, April 7, 2008

I wonder why . . .

. . . human beings feel such a need to attach a value judgement - 'right' or 'wrong' - to feelings?

With some feelings, the reason is obvious - we consider that feeling of just wanting to throttle someone to be 'wrong' in case the deed follows on the thought. But other feelings are far more ambiguous.

Yesterday I found out that a fatal car accident that I'd heard about on the radio on Saturday had involved someone I knew. I only knew him slightly - I'd had about three shifts with him when I was working at the optometrist's - and I actually loathed him. I thought he was loud-mouthed, full of himself, patronising (to someone older than him!) and generally a pain in the butt for someone with my personality.

So I spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening feeling absolutely dreadful, because I was having the wrong sort of feelings about this guy's death. My feelings can basically be summed up as "well . . . yeah. Okay, he's dead. And . . . that's all." I certainly don't feel glad but I also definitely don't feel sad. It is what it is. He drove stupidly with bad tires on the rainiest Perth day for 5 years, lost control, hit a tree, and is gone. And that's it. I feel sorry for the people who are affected by his death, like his kids, but beyond that . . . I actually don't feel anything, and we're taught that that's the wrong way to feel. We're supposed to be sad about a person's death, but whether it's because I'm so overwhelmed and exhausted or just because I barely knew him, it just hasn't affected me.

Why should that sort of feeling be subject to a value judgement? Why should we be expected to retrospectively like and grieve for the dead if we couldn't like them in life? Why should we feel that our feelings are wrong? Why can't we just have feelings that are what they are, without judging ourselves for them?

Thoughts, anyone?

PS: S and I have totally sorted out last weekend's fight, and have had a wonderful weekend - we're so much stronger as a couple after having come through that. It's all good :-)


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