Thursday, March 24, 2005

Intellectual Problem Solving

One question that has been swimming around in my brain for months and months now is wondering how people know what to answer when someone asks them how they are. Is their answer based on circumstances of the moment - what does their life have to look like for them to say they are doing good? I have come to see that all I feel when someone asks me how I am is confusion. I don't know how I am.

My daughter, home from college for spring break, tells me that the counsellor at school told her he wasn't surprised that she was having trouble accessing her emotions because from what she had told him he could see she was raised to solve problems intellectually. She tells me this over tea one afternoon and I tell her that my first thought is that why would any one ask themselves how they feel about a conflict....that how one feels doesn't matter - it is just a cut and dried process to figure out how to deal with something and feelings don't play a part in it. I tell her this and she tells me she sees it the same way. We both see how skewed this view of ours is. But then she tells me that she is learning that even though how she feels might not change the outcome of some conflicts that her feelings are important to look at.

She just gave me a piece of the puzzle as to why I don't know how I feel. Somewhere I learned that feelings didn't count. So we talk about it and she celebrates that she is facing this while she is half my age.

I know how I feel when I am angry or sad. Mostly when I am angry. I have no problem identifying that feeling. I just don't know what feeling okay or even good looks like. I can't get past thinking I must be lying if I tell someone I am doing good when they ask my how I am.

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