feeling vocabulary

It is difficult to express yourself with a narrow feeling vocabulary. The expressive vagueness creates blind spots, areas of unexplored emotional territory that can become hazardous over time. These form the basis for triggered responses and subconscious reactions to external stimuli. 

When these blind spots go unobserved, they become uglier and more dangerous. But it is hard to become aware that this is happening, that’s why they’re called blind spots. If my friend asks me how I am getting along, I respond with updates on running, cycling, and photography. I place a focus on the things that give my life meaning, but I hardly provide an accurate assessment of my feelings. 

What am I feeling? Am I anxious about some future event? Am I worried about what someone thinks of me? What are my own perceptions about myself?

If you’re not in the habit of targeting emotional blind spots, it will take some time to become well-versed in the task. But with practice, concerted effort, and by writing and reflecting you can start to pinpoint the origins of your joy and of your tension.

The ultimate truth is that the stories you tell are the ones people know, and without a proper feeling vocabulary even you may be in the dark as to what is going on with you.

As for gratitude, I write these pages, I read books I enjoy, and I lay my head on my pillow.

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