Our culture is full of explanations about what feelings are appropriate in what circumstances, and how they are to be performed in public. We seem to follow normative protocols about feelings and their expression.
What makes all the difference is whether or not you have chosen the feelings that you have, or they have chosen you.
In our culture, the possibility that one can chose one’s operant feelings is rarely considered. We are led to believe that our feelings are something that just happen to us, with no intention on our part.
In the context of the range of social possibilities or individual invention, a person could actually choose the feelings that he or she imagines might be what’s needed to further their cause in life. But in our culture, we are supposed to be the victims of the feelings that take us not where we want to go, but where they take us.
Could you choose the feelings you want or need? Yes, apparently so. We know, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, that no one can make you feel bad without your permission. It’s not a case of mind over matter. It’s a case of making your feelings work for you rather than you working for your feelings.
Being victimized by our feelings is simply a matter of the pervasive influence of the pop culture.
– Lee Thayer, Thought-Leader