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The Web Sage
Copyright © 2002 by Joe Freeman. All rights reserved.
How Do You Feel?
Have you ever felt depressed or unhappy and then the people around you (friends and loved ones) tell you that you should not feel that way? Do people tell you that you have no reason to feel depressed or unhappy? They say just think about the horrible problems (meaning ‘real problems’) that other people are dealing with and you will see that your problems are not that bad after all, therefore you have no reason to be unhappy. Mark Twain said 'nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size'.
While there are thousands and thousands of people in this world with problems much more significant than yours (and mine), that does not diminish the impact your problems are having on your life. Knowing that others are suffering from hunger or abuse or whatever the problem, will not make you feel better about your situation. Nothing will ‘make you’ feel better about your problems.
‘Feelings’ are real and you are entitled to feel your feelings. In fact, hiding your feelings, or diminishing them in context to the real world, is just an escape from reality and relieves you from having to deal with those feelings. That doesn’t make them go away, it just represses them until later in life. Sooner or later (and the sooner the better), you will need to face those feelings and determine why they cause you to feel depressed or unhappy. Otherwise, you may never be happy.

Feelings are real and legitimate;
 children behave and misbehave for a reason, even if adults cannot figure it out.

Contempt is the weapon of the weak
 and a defense against one's own
 despised and unwanted feelings.
We know too much and feel too little.
 At least, we feel too little of those
 creative emotions from which a good life springs.
 -Bertrand Russell