We Are Creatures of Feelings

Dear Reader:

An interview with the director of the movie -The Godfather-Francis Ford Coppola…now celebrating its 50th anniversary … lead me on a scavenger hunt to understand the relationship between emotions, feelings, and thoughts.

In an interview on CBS News Coppola was asked many questions about this project that turned out to be the highest ranked and most popular movie to emerge in the early 70’s…

It came out in spring of 71 when all of us Ya’s had our minds on graduation and finding a teaching job-so I don’t remember actually seeing it but heard so much about it and everyone was quoting lines from it-that I have the feelings of someone watching it. Strange…

There was one line Coppola spoke ( in the interview) that resonated with me after the interview went off. His emotions and feelings are still ” raw” ( even today) from the studio’s opposition to his selection of actors-changing the story from just a ” shoot’em” up gangster to a story about families and rituals so that the audience would care about each member of the fictitious Corleone family and see another side of this immigrant culture.

Coppola felt isolated, disliked from the studio ” top dogs” and downright persecuted for his ideas. It was a lonely miserable time for him and utterly exhausting. Even three Oscars later that year didn’t take the sting out of those memories half a century ago. He ended with ” We are creatures of feelings.”

If we are honest with ourselves… don’t we all harbor similar feelings from our pasts? Our feelings are like onions-we can cover them up with layers of ” new skin” and experiences-but out of the blue deep hurts and disappointments still emerge unexpectedly. However, on the plus side euphoria can envelope us just as surprisingly from a memory recall!

Emotions are produced by the brain in connection to a stimulus-an experience. How we react to the experience or situation is individualized by ourselves through feelings ( happy, sad, glad, mad-etc.) Thoughts ( about the situation) are produced when we try to verbally express our feelings. They are the toughest part.

Aren’t we humans all guilty of mumbling ” Fine” or ” Okay” when asked about our feelings. The problem is…. most truthful responses require us to admit we aren’t just experiencing one simple feeling-one feeling is wrapped up in layers of complex feelings.

You might be sad but you are also lonely, frustrated, angry, and scared. Coppola is right-” We are creatures of feelings.” And they are all a part of who we really are. And like in the thought below… we want so badly to be accepted as we are… flaws and all.

So until tomorrow… we must keep reminding ourselves that we have the opportunity to start over and begin again every single day… by first loving ourselves and being kinder to us.

If the angel deigns to come, it will be because you have convinced her, not by tears but by your humble resolve to be always beginning; to be a beginner. -Rainer Maria Rilke

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

I know many of you probably saw this extremely ” feel good ” story on the news but I decided to share it-in case you missed it.

Ms. Lana, a beloved custodian at Georgia Oak Hill Elementary School in Covington, Georgia ( 21 years) was surprised recently when all the children drew sun flowers ( Ukraine’s national flower) covering every hall since Lana is originally from Ukraine and has 30 family members still living there -that has saddened her in recent weeks -an usually smiling happy lovable asset to the school.

But she did break out into all smiles and laughter as the children and faculty gave her bouquets of sunflowers too! She was completely overwhelmed. It wasn’t hard to see Lana’s real feelings! ❤️ The Beatles said it best-” All we need is love.”

Beautiful flowers in the serenity of a garden brings out my true feelings. Blessedness… Thankfulness!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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