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3 Simple and Loving Behaviors by Dr. Jackie Black

Feelings are the barometer of our outside existential lives. Feelings let us know how things are going for us inside ourselves. They are not good or bad; helpful or not helpful; constructive or not so constructive. Feelings exist because they do, in and of themselves.

We cannot choose to change, modify, not feel, or otherwise positively or negatively impact or affect our feelings. The only choices we have are directly related to our behavior.

Feelings are as normal as hunger and fatigue. When we dismiss, diminish, ridicule, criticize, mock, belittle, disparage or demean anyone's feelings we are acting in the most disrespectful and unloving way.


Asked by PortAngeles1969 at 5:13 PM on Sep. 22, 2009 in Adoption

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Answers (7)
  • Life is NOT about what happens to you. Life is about how you react to what happens to you.

    Answer by vbruno at 6:18 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • When someone expresses a feeling, consider hearing the feeling as a sacred offering. Be curious and compassionate. Remember: It is not your job to fix anything. She or he is not broken.

    Here are 3 Simple and Loving Behaviors to remember and use:
    1) Listen with your heart.
    2) Tell them that he or she matters to you and that his or her feelings are important to you.
    3) Ask if there is anything you can do or say right now that would be helpful.

    Believe that your presence and your caring go a long way to soothe hurt and upset hearts.
    Take a deep breath. Remind yourself to stay in the moment with the feeling(s). Trust that the 3 Simple and Loving Behaviors are enough!

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 5:15 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • OK, I'm going to take 3 boxes but I needed 2 to get the actual article posted.

    I think sometimes when we respond to a posted question, we jump right to #3 in list and our answers perhaps don't convey listening with the heart and that the feelings of others matter.

    Just food for thought - I know that I need the reminder and it was a good one to show up in my in-box today.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 5:18 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • Yes, Port, I agree. I almost wrote something to that effect in my post the other day in the adoption group, (feelings aren't good or bad, they just ARE) when I likened some groups on CM to Al-Anon, etc. in regards to "open/closed" groups for triad members.

    It seems that several people have posted recently that they just wished that they could say or ask what they are feeling, w/o fear of attack or condemnation. It's what I meant when I said that we are all on different parts of our OWN individual journeys. Some on day 1, 50, 500, 5000-50,000+. (I'm on about day 1,277.) I will confess that as I was typing that, I was convicted of of many responses where I "jumped the gun" on an OP, and have definitely tried to "fix" posters or even those who replied and for that I am truly sorry. It reminded me that people here just want to be HEARD for what they are truly saying out of concern, fear, doubt, anger, whatever they're feeling.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 6:44 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • vbruno,

    Nicely stated!

    I've been finding myself reminding some of my friends who are in tough times that, "we are so much more than what happens to us" - this takes it to the next level!

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 10:45 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • Somewhere, I have a great quote that says something similar to what Vbruno said. I believe that everyone is entitled to their feelings. I also believe that while you cannot control your feelings, you do have the ability to control how you respond to feelings. Telling someone that they "shouldn't feel that way," is never a good idea. We are all entitled to our own feelings.

    You have a gentle way of listening and not over-reacting that is exceptional. We could all learn a lot from paying attention to your sensitive comments. My heart is in the right place, but, I react quicker than you and sometimes jump too quickly.


    Answer by Southernroots at 11:50 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • Great post Port and so important to remember.

    I, like doodlebopfan can honestly look back and see where I reacted and jumped the gun when someone else was sharing how they felt instead of stepping back for a moment and listening to what they truly are sharing. And I know there are times, for my own selfish reasons, that I want to deny that another is truly having the feelings they share.

    As human beings, we are all flawed and I think we all slip even when we know better but I think what you posted is a great reminder to us all to try to be more aware of the fact that our feelings exist for all of us and even if we may not understand or see why one might feel the way they do, everyone deserves to not just share their feelings but for them to be heard and respected.

    Definitely a good reminder for me!!!

    Answer by bellacocco at 12:00 PM on Sep. 23, 2009