When I went through my material about feelings and emotions, I came across a little article I had for many years in my posession. I like it so much that I am going to copy it here for you. The article is signed "Sister Maurice Boody, Office of New Directions, 2341 University Avenue, Bronx, New York 10458 – 15.2.74 E.G. Wishart"
"If we want to be loved we must reveal ourselves. If we want to love someone they must allow us to know them.
As obvious as this may be many of us go through life avoiding such disclosure. In fact, most of us practice concealment by playing roles. We claim to have certain feelings which we actually do not have, we profess to be loving when we're full of hostility, calm – – when in reality anxiety is nearly overwhelming us, and to believe in things when in truth we do not.
Even with those persons we care most about we share little of our true feelings, beliefs, or needs. Perhaps because we want to be loved we fear the truth that may come with openness and consequently we present ourselves as the sort of person we believe would be accepted and loved – – and we attempt to hide the things we think would damage that image.
Another reason we try to conceal ourselves is the fear of change. For most people change is frightening and we want to think of ourselves as "constant". We've molded our image and seem to believe we are all that we ever could be when in reality our needs, desires, goals, values, behaviour and feelings change with experience and age.
Still another reason we fail to expose our seal self is that we don't really know how, we've never been taught how, in fact, we learned more about how to conceal our true identity. The result being that we continue to accept and play our roles. Our society encourages, in fact pressures us, to suppress all of the emotions and characteristics that it considers 'unacceptable'. Of course, there are times when honest levelling isn't possible and role playing is appropriate in the social system we must be a part of and which requi9res certain discipline.
They key is 'appropriateness' – to be private when we wish, but also able to be honest and open, without fear. We are human beings, alive, always growing and full of feelings — feelings that my be labelled 'comfortable' or 'uncomfortable', 'pleasant' or 'unpleasant' but not 'good' or 'bad'. Feelings are perhaps our most personal possessions and when they are not managed appropriately they can be devastating.
We must be able to identity our feelings, accept them as an integral part of us, and manage each one as it comes, avoiding suppression when possible, and then go on to the next feeling – for with certainty, it will come."