The reality has always been a struggle. You may wish for some things to change. You may even work hard to change them.
But some things just do not change.
The revelation came in my early thirties, a time in life when I sensed a desire to understand who I was, and why I was that way. I believe even more today in the notion that we should all work to understand why we are the way we are. It helps filter the way we see a bigger world, and that’s important, too.
The big realization? I am a feeler.
Shocking, I know.
Speak with me for any length of time, give me any personality profile test you like. The results are always the same. I am a feeler, prone to act by the way I feel about things in my heart. It is so complicated there is one personality profile that explains how hard my “adjusted” personality works to cover up the truest personality of a feeler. Chit chat doesn’t much interest me. Wanna talk about all the problems you encountered at work today? I’d rather hear the solutions you offered. Just yesterday, I saw a man post in a local forum how he’d bought 15 turkeys and stood at the Wal-Mart door giving them away. The boisterous accolades he imparted on himself made me sick, actually. There is no joy found shouting your virtues from the mountaintop.
The bad news about the realization of my feeling personality manifested everywhere. Some of the purest codes of moral ethics told me about its wrongness. Certain aspects of society said it was wrong. Lord knows my religion (not my Savior) repudiated its very notion about being a feeler.
I struggled with the latter especially because I knew God designed me to be just that way. Feeler is really too simple a descriptor, I thought. Passionate is more accurate.
But I’ve always made the important decisions in life based on feeling. Not the immediate feeling that comes from some sudden event or some bit of knowledge, but more of the feeling that comes some time afterward, thinking on it, weighing it, pondering. These are the feelings that once they are felt, they are hard to change.
I’ve made decisions about relationships, jobs, creative projects, and other important things based on feelings. These feelings can often be at odds with other important attributes like commitment, loyalty, even forgiveness. A feeler’s life is a complex life, especially for someone who thinks about it a lot.
In recent years, I’ve come to embrace it rather than run from it.
All of this just to say a quick word about what I’m feeling these days. There is a great joy and a great peace in my life. Peace that surpasses just about all things today.
At 55, I feel as though I am just now in the earliest stages of understanding life, maybe even gaining a little wisdom. The important things are coming clearer and life is a greater joy because I’m taking more time to sort things out, and more time to LIVE things out. The big decisions are made more slowly now. I still make them by feel, I just try feeling it all at a slower “more processable” pace, and I am enjoying that slower ride.
It’s my favorite time of year, this Thanksgiving season. I’m enjoying every second and savoring every moment just as I’ll savor that turkey and dressing tomorrow.
I am savoring every moment these days.
You may see that phrase again.
Happy Thanksgiving, and may the Lord bless and keep you.