I’ve been playing with this app called How We Feel (https://howwefeel.org/) It’s a log for your emotional life. You can tag how you feel, where you are, what you’re doing, and who you’re with. Over time, it shows you patterns. Mine for example is that I seem to feel jittery only in the afternoon, when with kids, and hungry. Could be diabetes. Could be parenthood realness. Who knows.
Anyway, I like the app. But the thing is… it doesn’t allow me to tag multiple emotions at one time. Whoever built this product maybe had some supernatural ability to only feel one thing at a time.
Because the really confusing experience of living in my skin is that… I mostly feel many, many emotions all at the same time.
Many different emotions merge in me - layers of my emotional make-up. Equal in their influence over my emotional state. Not a single “dominatrix” in that crew.
All this has been making me think a lot about how polar opposites can in fact coexist. Lately, I’ve been using the expression “two things can be true” a lot. It’s like that genius HSBC campaign (https://thefinancialbrand.com/news/bank-marketing/hsbc-brand-6361/) The same scenario or context or behavior can be interpreted in vastly different ways.
Something about the combination of two opposing ideas or feelings or experiences or relationships (or whatever!) feels really true to the experience of life as a whole. I'm still very much grappling with all this and writing helps me process. So here's a longer piece on this topic: https://ambleday.substack.com/p/dealing-with-the-split-personality
Does this resonate with others? How do these dialectics show up in your life? What else have you come across?