When you can’t make sense of how you feel

Beautiful young woman dreamingI have no real-world evidence for what I am about to say. Just what makes sense for me from a little bit of reading, a lot of observation and a few conversations with friends whose eyes have widened with recognition as I’ve described what I suspect may be going on.

If you are struggling with unexplained emotions, it’s just possible this might help. If you feel fine but someone you love is in trouble emotionally; if you want to help but don’t know how, pass this on.

So here it is. Not “fact”, just theory. Theory that may save a life.

The theory

Not everything we feel is ours. Some of the emotions that run through our bodies originate in someone else. That’s fine most of the time. We know when we pick up on someone’s excitement or grumpiness when they walk into the room. When it’s bigger than that, however, or less obvious than that – when we feel terrible and we don’t know the issue isn’t ours, that can take us to a much darker place.

Difficult emotions which don’t make sense can leave us feeling crazy and helpless. We think there’s something wrong with us. We try to work it out, but it continues to make no sense. If it goes on too long, we can slip into depression, and beyond.

I’m not saying all depression comes from this cause, but if you are feeling awful or dull or empty and there’s no obvious reason, try asking yourself these simple questions. At first the answers may come slowly, but listen to your gut, see if the responses you feel inside you make some sort of weird sense to you.

The questions:

  • Does this emotion I’m feeling belong to someone else?
  • Am I supposed to help them deal with it?
  • Is it possible that it could pass through me more easily or leave me altogether?

If it seems like it’s someone else’s and you don’t want to feel it, you can kindly send it back where it came from; or if you have a higher power you believe in, you can pass the emotion on up.

It sounds crazy. But no more crazy than feeling awful with no cause.

Once it started to dawn on me that this might be happening, I asked my unconscious mind to give me a signal when something I was feeling wasn’t mine. My left hand goes to my right and the thumb rubs the back of my hand. Friends have other signals: thumb and index finger coming together, for example. It doesn’t matter, just as long as it’s something obvious but not too obvious. Plan it and let it go, and just notice if it happens spontaneously at some later time. If and when it does, notice what you are feeling. My theory is that that emotion doesn’t belong to you.

There’s a lot more to say, a lot more detail and nuance I’ve worked out and observed, and strategies for getting through it.

For now, just knowing this can help. You’re not crazy, those “unexplained” emotions have a cause, it just doesn’t lie with you. You can let them go, or let them through, but you have a choice, and you don’t need to take them too seriously.

You can ask for help – from that higher power or a friend who gets it.

Or if you’re still struggling, you can come back to me.

Again, if someone you love is in trouble, pass this on. It could make more difference than you ever know.

With love,

Jennifer Manson, The Flow Writer

Jennifer Manson is the author of Truth, about finding, speaking and living our own personal truth, Easy – Stories from a effortlessly created life and six novels, also on the theme of living our truth. Available from Amazon and all major eBook sites.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Depression, Life
One comment on “When you can’t make sense of how you feel
  1. Thank you so much for sharing this, Jennifer!! It’s difficult to explain how it feels when you feel the full force of someone elses emotions. You are going about your day, happy as, when suddenly you’re feeling terrible grief that makes no
    sense. You know the feelings don’t belong to you. Knowing that I can help with those feelings or choose to pass them on is truly life changing! Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Life Abroad, according to a California girl

Going with my Gut

A bigger, better life

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: