Have you read the back covers of some spiritual and self help books lately? Seems like we are all being taught how to ignore our feelings and believe that life is an illusion. Partly that may be true, but it is your illusion so shouldn’t you interact in it? I don’t know about you, but I have two grown children and no matter how many times I read that I can’t come around to that way of thinking. Not reacting to me would be not caring, thinking it doesn’t matter, and that it isn’t worth the time or my trouble. I react to everything, I get sad, I get mad, I get lonely, I feel proud, I feel happy, I’m doing it all. What I can tell you is the outcome is love. As far as I am concerned to feel is to love and that includes even the bad feelings. All of our emotions are an expression of love, become indifferent, or unresponsive, and your loved ones may think that they are not important to you. I am not saying that you should go around blowing up and over reacting to things. What I am saying is that being engaged in and reactive to your life is what life is all about. We can all learn something from our strong reactions to things about ourselves. Trying to make them go away or training ourselves not to have them is not necessarily the proper way of handling them. Be grateful for the strong reactions and learn from them. Make choices that are more in line with yourself and start to shape your life more into the kind of experience you are wanting to have. Allow your preferences to be heard and instead of trying to turn down the volume on your responses try to turn up your sensitivity to them. It won’t take long and you will be creating a life that you are very happy with and you didn’t do it by pretending it doesn’t matter. In the end it will be a life you are proud of, one you participated in, and one you are long remembered for after you are gone. Emotions can hurt and sometimes people choose to numb themselves so they don’t have to be hurt. They can however, make us stronger and more compassionate people. Nothing makes you a better mother, a better friend, or a better person, then being actively submerged in your story. That’s right, just the opposite of what you are being told. There is a reason we feel and that we are all engaging in this process we call life. At one time or another in each of our lives we will experience contrasts. There will be times of profound happiness and times of extreme sadness. Find what you love to do, form bonds with those you want to spend time with, and make sure you “feel” your way through every step of your life. Because it really does matter.