Saturday, August 22, 2009

Quote: A Mother's Rule of Life

The culture we live in emphasizes emotions and feelings as the basis for living our lives. Instead of using our reason to judge the objective reality of things, to distinguish good from bad, as a tool for making decisions, we ask ourselves how we feel. Anything that doesn't feel good must be avoided. If I feel good, things are okay. If I don't feel good, whatever is causing those feelings must be bad.

This affects marital communication in a very significant way: if something feels good to me and not to my spouse, he must be wrong. And if something feels bad to me and not to my spouse, then again, he's wrong! If I put my feelings first, I tend to approach a conversation with a set agenda; since I'm right because I feel this way, he must agree. If he doesn't, I don't need to listen; I need only to convince. Hence, I'm never really open to him.

What happens, then, is that underlying realities become obscured. Conflicts can't be resolved. Deadlocks become unbreakable.

Holly Pierlot in A Mother's Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul (emphasis the author's)

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