“Your feelings are not facts, and your thoughts are not truth.” ~ Unknown
Raising children is a difficult job. Raising teenagers is even worse. There’s the comparisons, the hormones, the angst, the drama, the wishful thinking, the budding romances, the heartbreaking break-ups, school, jobs and family life. Everything is literal, final and concrete . . .NOT!!
Let’s define four things:
- Facts – Oxford Languages defines it as “a thing that is known or proved to be true.” My running coach, Jill Angie, describes a fact as something 100% of people would agree on as being true. In law, fact is described as “the truth about events as opposed to interpretation.”
- Feelings – Again, Oxford Language defines this one as “an emotional state or reaction.” Feelings can change based on circumstances (you get a raise), the weather (gloominess can lead to sadness or depression), or physical health (being tired or stressed can lead to negative feelings). Feelings can change on a whim or with new information.
- Thoughts – “An idea or opinion produced by thinking, or occurring suddenly in the mind” per Oxford Language. If you happen to be neuro divergant in your thinking, you have my sympathy as your thoughts will simultaneously go down different bunny trails of seemingly unrelated areas.
- Truth – Guess what? Oxford Language states this is “the quality or state of being true” or “that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.”
Facts and Truth are concrete. Set in stone, they do not change. Not with the weather, not with the direction of the wind blowing, not with wishful thinking. A fact is a fact. The truth is undeniable.
Feelings and thoughts are transient. They can change within minutes based on past experiences, current circumstances or information that is prejudiced or miscommunicated.
Trying to get these ideas of similarities and differences to stick between the ears of kids ranging from 10 years old to 20 (and maybe even older) is the hardest thing to do. They come up with all kinds of excuses of why their logic isn’t faulty:
“It’s always been this way”
“I’m ugly, I don’t deserve good things.”
“Adults (or anyone else for that matter) only lie.”
They are all up in their feelings. Many adults are caught up in their feelings.
Feel the feelings. Search the circumstance that led to those feelings. Determine the thoughts those feelings compel. Search the thoughts for truth and facts. Reassess.
I know . . . I know . . . far too analytical for most people. But that’s how I function.