I would like to consider the following questions:
- What do I feel?
- Is the fundamental logic behind my thought process maladaptive or adaptive?
- Is my behavior adaptive or maladaptive
I would title this discussion: The Power of Thoughts or From Interdependence to Independence: Emotions, Feelings, Thoughts and Behaviors
As a persuasive discussion, my main argument would be: a human may gain the ability to fully process repeated emotions, acknowledge their repeated feelings and generate new reactive ways of thinking. Suppose I tell a story about myself to myself: I do X when I think Y feel Z about it then and W about it later.
Recently, I have been decoupling X and Y by realizing that I usually associate Z and W to both X and Y, which is often wrong. I've noticed that it's usually a behavior that is maladaptive even if the fundamental drivers or motives or preceding sequences of thoughts were adaptive.
At this point I would add a subtitle to this discussion: Post hoc analysis: Incorrect Value Judgments on Thoughts and Behaviors or You Had the Right Idea but the Wrong Execution or Don't Throw Away Your Thought Model, Just Generate Different Behaviors.
Your thinking when applied to a set of behaviors S may create maladaptive results. When applied to a different set R they may create adapative results. You can have adaptive meta-thought-patterns or meta-logic which result in maladaptive behaviors; adaptive abstractions but maladaptive concretizations. Acknowledging this can keep me from throwing out the thought-process-baby with the behavior-water.
But then I am invalidating my feelings.
Not at all! My feelings are feedback to maladaptation or adaptation. They are extremely valid and useful. What's not useful is incorrectly classifying a motive the same as the resulting behavior.
At this point, I would add to the subtitle: Behaviors are Unrelated to Thoughts, Feelings and Emotions. When we face our fears, or ignore our wants, we are behaving in ways that don't align with how we usually think, feel or experience emotions. There is much utility in blind faith. I can acknowledge my doubt, and then do what I didn't think I could. I can feel shame and then realize that actions aligned with it are maladaptive. Self-awareness creates a gap between what I am and what I can be and eventually I can slip in something adapative.