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Feelings

  • Interestingly, anger and lust are also elusive states once they have passed. Trying to recall why you were angry about something when you've calmed down is like trying to remember why you were in love with someone who no longer attracts you: the initial impulse triggering the emotion is impossible to recapture.

  • Emotion doesn't travel in a straight line. Like water, our feelings trickle down through cracks and crevices, seeking out the little pockets of neediness and neglect, the hairline fractures in our character usually hidden from public view.

  • One must marry one's feelings to one's beliefs and ideas. That is probably the only way to achieve a measure of harmony in one's life.

  • ... human relations are built on feeling, not on reason or knowledge. And feeling is not an exact science; like all spiritual qualities, it has the vagueness of greatness about it.

  • You cannot know what you do not feel.

  • We are always bargaining with our feelings so that we can live from day to day.

  • Feelings change facts ...

  • The popular mind has grown so confused that it is no longer able to receive any statement of fact except as an expression of personal feeling.

  • Why is it that people who cannot show feeling presume that that is a strength and not a weakness?

  • I'm beginning to feel that the real endangered species on planet earth are not the whales and the elephants but those of us who can laugh at the world and ourselves. ... I fear the dry turn of the American mind, this focus on the literal, as much as I fear our capacity for self-destruction. We've become hagridden by facts, obsessed with product instead of process. Where's the energetic wit, the looney outlook, the frivolity, the lightness of comforting laughter? It has become fashionable to know and unfashionable to feel, and you can't really laugh if you can't feel.

  • I could eat a feeling faster than anybody, put a little hot sauce on it and wouldn't recognize it until it showed up on my behind three days later.

  • Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.

    • Audre Lorde,
    • in Claudia Tate, ed., Black Women Writers at Work ()
  • To have felt too much is to end in feeling nothing.

  • Facts mean nothing to wounded feelings ...

  • It was too pathetic for the feelings of Sophia and myself — we fainted alternately on a sofa. Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint.

    • Jane Austen,
    • "Letter the 8th," Love and Freindship ()
  • The rankling wound which aches and thrills / Is dealt by hands we love.

    • Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
    • "Life's Scars," in Hazel Felleman, ed., The Best Loved Poems of the American People ()
  • The only folks who really wound / Are those we love the best.

    • Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
    • "Life's Scars," in Hazel Felleman, ed., The Best Loved Poems of the American People ()
  • Those who believe in the freedom of the will have never loved, and never hated.

  • It is unwise to feel too much if we think too little.

  • We are not responsible for our feelings, as we are for our principles and actions. ... Our care, then, should be to look to our principles, and to avoid all anxiety about our emotions. Their nature can never be wrong where our course of action is right, and for their degree we are not responsible.

    • Harriet Martineau,
    • "On the Agency of Feelings in the Formation of Habits," Miscellanies, vol. 1 ()
  • It is difficult to deal successfully, he decided, with a woman whose feelings cannot be hurt.

  • One can never ask anyone to change a feeling.

    • Susan Sontag,
    • 1964, in David Rieff, ed., As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh ()
  • Acting a part is not always synonymous with lying; it is far more often the best way of serving the truth. It is more truthful to act what we should feel if the community is to be well served rather than behave as we actually do feel in our selfish private feelings.

  • Better to be without logic than without feeling.

  • Feeling without judgment is a washy draught indeed; but judgment untempered by feeling is too bitter and husky a morsel for human deglutition.

  • You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.

  • ... atrophy of feeling creates criminals.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1940, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 3 ()
  • Wariness had driven away poetry; from hesitating to feel came the moment when you no longer could.

  • Mood can be as important as sense.

    • Anne Sexton,
    • 1957, in Linda Gray Sexton and Lois Ames, eds., Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters ()
  • Beware of feelings, Father. They are the biggest liars in us. They make truth what we want it to be.

  • ... Millie Beggs, by the time she was forty-five, had become an emotional anarchist.

  • Most of us do not use speech to express thought. We use it to express feelings.

  • There is a difference, of course, between real sentiment and the trash of shared experience.

  • Emotions are far harder things to understand than algebra and geometry, yet we spend hours in elucidating mathematics and expect such a problem as that of human relationships to solve itself.

  • The facts of another's life do not illumine. Only when we know the heart can we know that life. Only the feeling that made the days can light them.

  • But emotion cannot be buried by words, though it can be aroused by them.

  • The true opposite of depression is not gaiety or absence of pain, but vitality: the freedom to experience spontaneous feelings.

  • Ecstasy is what everyone craves — not love or sex, but a hot-blooded, soaring intensity, in which being alive is a joy and a thrill. That enravishment doesn't give meaning to life, and yet without it life seems meaningless.

  • Words express only the feelings we know already.

  • ... nothing is stronger or better founded than the sentiments for which we can give no reason.

    • Julie de Lespinasse,
    • 1773, in Katharine Prescott Wormeley, trans., Letters of Mlle. de Lespinasse ()
  • The truth is that we can overhaul our surroundings, renovate our environment, talk a new game, join a new club, far more easily than we can change the way we respond emotionally. It is easier to change behavior than feelings about that behavior.

  • In sports as in child rearing, marital arguments, or tantrums, the same laws of learning apply; when an emotion is encouraged and the rules permit it, it is perpetuated, not 'drained.' ... An emotion without social rules of containment and expression is like an egg without a shell: a gooey mess ...

  • The best way of forgetting how you think you feel is to concentrate on what you know you know ...

  • ... moods, at best, were tiresome things; it was a form of arrogance to inflict them upon other people; those who made a practice of it wouldn't tolerate it, she had noticed, from others.

  • Feelings take you into uncharted territory from time to time it's true, but you almost always benefit from the journey one way or the other. We tend to think of the rational as a higher order, but it is the emotional that marks our lives.

  • ... if one's natural feelings are suppressed long enough one develops supernatural feelings and feels surer of having a soul.

  • Feelings are untidy ...

  • Yer feelin's is like ras'berry vinegar: if you're skeered to use 'em an' keep on savin' 'em, first thing you know they've done 'vaporated!

  • Ideas often last but a day; feelings, dreams almost forever.

  • An emotional man may possess no humor, but a humorous man usually has deep pockets of emotion, sometimes tucked away or forgotten.

  • An amazing observation: it is precisely for feelings that one needs time, not for thought. ... Feelings, obviously, are more demanding than thought.

    • Marina Tsvetaeva,
    • 1927, in Lily Feiler, Marina Tsvetaeva: The Double Beat of Heaven and Hell ()
  • There is so little feeling in the world that even when it takes the wrong method of expressing itself it is something that the world cannot do without.

    • Ellen O'Grady,
    • in Djuna Barnes, "Woman Police Deputy Is Writer of Poetry," New York Sun Magazine ()
  • In our second childhood, as in our first, we feel more shrewdly than we think.

  • ... only that which is deeply felt can change us. Rational arguments alone cannot penetrate the layers of fear and conditioning that comprise our crippling belief system.

  • ... by taking notice of those feelings and images that seemed to be in my blood and bones rather than in my head, I had found myself able to behave, not less reasonably, but more so. Apparently it was as much a false extreme to try and live by reason alone, leaving the passions out of count, as to ignore reason and put passion in its place as the guiding force of life.

  • i move on feeling and have learned to distrust those who don't ...

  • She was like the weather vane on the peak of the Greenacres roof, her emotions swinging suddenly from one direction to the other at the whim of the wind. It was strange, and frightening at times, but also somehow thrilling. Like being on a lurching ride at the seaside.

  • Like the one-tenth of our brain that we currently use, I think now that most if not all of us have access to about one-tenth of our possible feelings.

  • I've always said the toughest thing about learning to feel your feelings is that then you have to feel your feelings ...

  • One can impose silence on sentiment, but one can not give it limits.

  • For mind and heart have always worked together to form a powerful force. When thought combines with feeling, activity is set in motion, things are brought about. The more intense the feeling, the greater is its active force.

  • ... it is impossible to drive out human passions from the human heart. You may suppress them, deaden them, keep them in subjection, but you cannot root them out.

  • Oh God, modern life with all its feelings. ... We live in the most callous society ever, and all anybody talks about nowadays is getting in touch with their feelings. ... The world has become one enormous group therapy session. It's a terrible bore. My motto is, 'Thank you for not sharing!'

  • Emotion seemed more valid than experience, for I had so much of the former and so little of the latter.

  • One of the quickest ways to become exhausted is by suppressing your feelings ...

  • You can't heal what you can't feel ...

  • Feeling, in the broad sense of whatever is felt in any way, as sensory stimulus or inward tension, pain, emotion or intent, is the mark of mentality.

  • ... the wide discrepancy between reason and feeling may be unreal; it is not improbable that intellect is a high form of feeling — a specialized, intensive feeling about intuitions.

  • And as To'ula continued to desire a watch for himself, an intense fiery heat began to burn in his body, putting out his mind.