feelings aren’t always your friends

Growing up, people tell you to

Get in touch with your feelings

and

You’ll feel it if it’s right

and

Don’t fight your feelings

and

Go with what your gut tells you.

They say things like:

I feel your pain

or

I’m not feeling it

and they ask

How do you feel about that?

and they say

Trust your feelings.

And they might be right sometimes.

But:

feeling1

People want you to

Share your feelings

and they say

If it feels good, do it

and at the movies, it’s

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this”

and every song you hear anywhere is all about feelings.

And that’s okay, I guess.

But I’ve learned that

feelings2a

*except when they’re telling you that you’re in danger–always listen to them then!  
Better to be safe than…well, you know

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve felt really strongly about something…

…and it turned out to be wrong.

You see,

feeling3Your feelings might tell you

He loves you

or

She hates you

or 

You can’t trust this one

or

You can believe that one.

Your feelings might say

I love her

or

I hate him

but

feeling4

If you’ve ever had your heart broken, you know what I mean.

Feelings don’t mean to lie. It’s just that they don’t think. They can’t think.  So,

feelings5

And that’s not always a bad thing, but you have to be careful.

feelings6

Don’t quit school or your job because of one bad day.

Or two.

Or even a whole week.

Or a month.

Don’t give up on people who love you even if they make mistakes

or aren’t as strong as you

or don’t know what you know,

so long as they’re trying, really trying to get better

to do better

to be better

and not just trying to hurt you.

You see,

feelings7

 Decisions that there was no coming back from.

Decisions that changed my life forever.

Decisions that I’ll always regret.

That’s because

feelings9

 and

feelings10

and

feelings11

Sometimes, you have to stop listening to your feelings for a while.

Just put them on MUTE and think.

Think about might happen if you do what they’re telling you to do.

It can be fun every once in a while to lose some control and let your feelings take over.

But when you need to, you have to be in charge of them,

not them in charge of you.

Otherwise, they’re like dogs with a new plaything.

They’ll drag you around the yard

and use you to play tug-of-war against each other

and gnaw on you

and finally drop you off somewhere, all slobbery and gross

or just bury you somewhere and forget about you.

feelings12It’s happened to me way too many times

and it’s never much fun.

I’m not saying

Be a robot.

I’m not saying

Be cold.

I’m not saying

Don’t feel.

 I’m just saying

feelings13

Kenton Kilgore is forging a new direction in young adult science-fiction and fantasy.  His latest work-in-progress is This Wasted Land, a modern-fantasy/horror novel, to be published in 2017.

Kenton is the author of Dragontamer’s Daughters, based on Navajo culture and belief.  He also wrote Lost Dogs, the story of a German Shepherd and a Beagle-mix who survive the end of the human world, only to find that their struggles have just begun. With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature.  

Follow Kenton on Facebook for daily posts on sci-fi, fantasy, and other speculative fiction. 

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