What do I Feel?

Unclarity about how I feel

I’m not exactly sure WHAT I’m feeling this morning. I know its not joy and love and sunflowers.   It’s just kind of stuck, and thrashing around, and I kind of see myself lying in the weeds, maybe hiding.

Having a behavioral model can be useful. A set of categories to choose from. Some common group of emotions that seem like they are baseline. One model I’ve learned and use is from Mankind Project, an organization that teaches men how to become accountable and emotionally mature. My friend Ben Littauer has presented their model nicely here


A short list like this can help quite a bit. I’ve seen lists of SCORES of words describing emotions (thework.com/sites/thework/downloads/…/Emotions_List_Ltr.pdf) and I tend to get lost in them.

So when I look at this list (Anger, Sadness, Joy, Fear, Shame), I can anchor how I feel around fear and shame. Yes, fear around things I want to accomplish today, and about some things coming up that are hard. This model is a good tool that I’ve used a lot. I have seen firsthand how it can be an absolute revelation for a person using it for the first time.

AND, I understand it’s just a tool, a way into my experience. In some ways, just resting in the “knowledge” that what I’m feeling is one from column A and one from column B can seem like a trap to me. Kind of like, ‘oh my work is done, I know how I feel’. It’s really just the beginning. But, it is a beginning and I’m grateful for the model.

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