It’s just hormones.
We tend to think of the emotions hormones cause as being sort of fake and not genuine because they’re caused by a physical chemical, not by “real” feeling.
But what is REAL feeling?
The first time you fell in love, was it just ‘raging hormones’?
As I bond with my infant son, can I attribute the flush of tenderness I feel for him to hormones and deny their rootedness in anything dependable and real?
When are emotions real enough that we give them credence? Certainly, hormone-induced feelings spur actions – Romeo and Juliet – so we can’t discount their power or effectiveness. Well, obviously – they’re evolutionarily successful, or they wouldn’t be around, helping us mate and bond to keep the species going.
But I’m just wondering if there’s any way to really slice a line between ‘physical’ feeling and whatever the emotional feeling is that we think of as justified… somehow, I think – feel – think? that they’re all intermingled and part of each other, that hormones interact with us in such an intimate way that we can’t think of them as “other,” as merely physical, as the physical parts of ourselves as “mere” at all. Our physical bodies are us, too.
We tend to think of our bodies as if they are cars, vehicles that carry the important stuff around inside of them, that we use but can discard – mechanical engines to be tinkered with by doctors, fueled up, revved up, but not one with the real ‘us.’
But this is a distorted view of who we are, I think. The mind-body being cannot be described as a driver in a car.
The next time you condescend to a teenager about his or her feelings, or dismiss your own rage or sadness as being worthless because attributable to your period or some other physical circumstance, back off and give those feelings the space they deserve. A little equity with the credence we give all the other emotions – which maybe deserve a little less authority over our lives… We might find ourselves taking each other and our children a little more seriously and responsibly than we do now, and that may actually help prevent Romeo-Juliet scenarios…
What do you think-feel?