Mass Shootings, Boys, and Feeling The Feelings

It’s been a tough week in the U.S. with another school shooting capturing the country’s  attention. CHI FOR YOURSELF usually doesn’t discuss these types of events. Certainly not from a political perspective or one that whips the populace into a frenzy. 


Boy shows feelingsBut it’s worth noting that these shootings tend to have one thing in common. They’re committed by males. Young males. The nation asks “why?”





Today we look back to a 2013 CHI FOR YOURSELF episode with guest Cynthia Gill. She told us about ways in which boys are educated, conditioned, and often left with feelings of hopelessness.


Picture of Cynthia Gill

Cynthia Gill is the author of Jump-Starting Boys: Help Your Reluctant Learner Find Success in School and Life.  Hear the show by clicking on below–


Show logo shows feelings



Down But Not Out: Feel the Feelings and Keep Going


The other day I was reminded of the waves of emotions that can roll through our lives unannounced. These can range from down days to the darker depression-like moods.

I dealt with those heavy feelings earlier in my life. I referred to those as “situational” since there were some troubling issues that had to be faced.

When I ran a search on the definition of emotions I found: A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

Definition 2 read: Any of the particular feelings that characterize such a state of mind, such as joy, anger, love, hate, horror, etc. The key word in the first example is ‘natural’.

Your first reaction might be to turn your feelings away. You might push the feelings down, put them on hold until later, or use distractions to get your mind off of things.

You can deny them or indulge in them (often called wallowing). And there’s a cliche to match every situation- ‘I don’t have time to think about that now’, ‘It’s always something’, or ‘I’ll take care of it later.’

But what you’re feeling is neither positive nor negative. It’s all part of being human.

If your choice is not to experience intense feelings they could become embedded in your physical body. When they set up shop deep inside you they can have an effect on the way you look at the world.

The worst case scenario is that they can be so troubling as to cause illness. This is a good time to monitor your thinking, too.

One of the greatest figures in the Human Development field is Louise Hay. She put it this way, “The thoughts we choose to think are the tools we use to paint the canvas of our lives.”

You can bring out the feelings, front and center, to experience them in a safe and enriching way. When I feel the need to do this I pretty much drop whatever was planned for the day, if possible, and get to the feeling place.

You may have a more demanding schedule, so how about a date- with yourself? Pick a safe, secure, and comfortable place along with a time when you can be alone.

Start by remembering the circumstances that touched off the emotions you’ve been putting off. When you’ve stirred up the emotions let yourself FEEL them. Don’t block them.

Cry if you feel like it. Let any thoughts that come up come through.

And be gentle with yourself. This is not a good place to judge what’s happening.

Recognizing your emotions instead of pushing them away helps you to stay emotionally healthy and goes a long way toward truly conscious living.


JohnK 2-16-2018 home



Image for overheard for feelingsOverheard: Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings – always darker, emptier and simpler.”

                       ~ Friedrich Nietzsche 




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