Huemans often use the terms emotion and feeling interchangeably. There is, however, a distinct difference between the two.
Consider, when we visualize someone who is emotional, we often picture someone who is in a state of distress. This distress can manifest itself as anger, jealousy, or abuse for example. However, when we speak of a person who feels, the thought is usually of someone who is caring and thoughtful. One who feels is often moved by how others are affected by the trials and tribulations of life and they want to assist in the betterment of those lives. It is often said about such a person that they feel very deeply.
When someone is in a state of emotionalism, it usually results in the person being unbalanced or better stated, not at peace. Emotionalism is a reaction rather than a response to life, the difference being that when we react, we give our life force over to that thing or person to which we are reacting and in many cases it boomerangs back on us, quite often in ways that leave in their wake ripples of pain that are seemingly unending. For instance, humanity is very emotional about religion. Each religious sect believes that it has found the key to the kingdom. This belief runs so deep that it is almost impossible to have an open discussion without members of one sect or another taking personal offense to what is being said about their god. The irony is that many religious people often claim to be peaceful, tolerant and understanding; yet, you have merely to study history and/or watch modern news reports to know that our emotionalism as it relates to religion has and continues to wreak havoc in the lives of "believers" and "nonbelievers" alike. The fallout from emotionalism touches not only the object of the emotion but the source of it as well.
To respond to life is to take action or not to take action, with a keen understanding of the relationship between cause and effect and a complete willingness to take full responsibility. Thus, response is conscious whereas reaction is unconscious. Response may not be consistent but it is always authentic. Response is intelligence in action. As such, one may respond quickly but one never responds in haste, one may mull things over but one is always decisive, and one may be uncertain but one always moves with clarity of thought.
The person who responds feels his way through life. The person who reacts thinks his way through life. It is not that thinking is bad. The problem arises because our thoughts are not our own. We have assimilated the thoughts of our environment (parents, society, institutions, etc.) We have been schooled to think in a certain way and this schooling runs deep in us, so deep that when something triggers a certain program of this schooling, we react. A feeling person will not react, at least not as much as an emotional person. Should the feeler react, you can be almost certain that he/she has slipped into emotionalism.
To feel is to know life. It is to flow with the tide instead of against it. The person who feels also understands and their understanding (because of feeling) will have a depth to it the emotionalism cannot provide. Feeling allows you to see past the illusion of another's words or deeds. It will give you the ability to see beyond the periphery. When your feelings are finely tuned you will begin to gradually release emotionality, you will move into a peaceful space, and you will begin to interact with others from this space; And, because this space is a healing space you will become a magnate to which others who are in need of healing will be attracted. Others will say of you that you are calm, laid back, and they will want to know your secret.
You may be surprised to learn that emotionalism is a result of repressed feelings. We have been cut off from our true nature. We have become beings of logic alone. We reside mostly in our heads. Almost all of our life interactions are filtered through rationalization. We rarely give voice to our "gut" feeling. Still, we can only silence our feelings; we cannot kill them. They will continually seek to be expressed and if they cannot be expressed via the natural course then they will choose the only path open to them (emotion). Because, however, emotion is not the true course, all that flows from it will be distorted.
It will take practice to move away from one's emotions. In order to decrease your reactions you must turn inward. Watch yourself. Begin to take note of when you are becoming emotional and pay attention to what is causing your emotion to surface. Do not focus on what someone else is saying or doing. The seed of emotionalism lies within you. Thus, that is were your attention needs to be. Think of it in this way: Let's say someone goes to a home looking for you, if you do not reside at that address, then they will not find you there. Now think of your consciousness as this home and anger as the resident. If anger does not reside within you, no amount of knocking at the door will bring it forth. No one can cause you to become angry; they can only add water to the seed that is already there. Practice watching your reactions and then choose to respond. The more you choose response the weaker emotionalism becomes. Over time, emotionalism will fall by the wayside. Subsequently, however, you will appear "unemotional" (unfeeling) to others.
The person who is centered, in feeling, often appears aloof and unconcerned (not worried) about what is happening in the external world. This person may even be accused of being unsympathetic to the plight of individual "tragedies." While it is true that the feeler is generally not a worrier nor a person of sympathy, they are nevertheless very empathetic. Empathy implies a deep connection that surpasses the physical. Because most of us are centered in the physical, the feeler, the person of empathy will in-fact be detached.
Detachment as it is misunderstood by the linear thinker would seem to be a bad thing. The connotation is that a detached person does not feel and is overly self-centered, caring only for themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Detachment in its pure form is an outgrowth of acceptance, of recognition of the multidimensional makeup of life, of recognition and embracing life's many paradoxes. It is merely another way of saying, be in the world but not of the world. Those who accept that the physical world is all there is, will not understand you. You will have moved beyond the singularity of physical existence. People tend only to judge from their level of understanding. If attachment is the norm for most people, then of course they will not comprehend detachment.
Once you have accepted life's paradoxes, you simply relax; you embrace what is and you move ahead with little fan fare (emotionalism). This does not mean that you will not feel. For example, you will, like most people, feel the loss of a loved one. But you will have a knowing that things are occurring exactly as they should. This knowing allows you to relax into the situation, to feel it deeply, to accept it. Emotionalism is denial of some personal or external truth [i.e., Your mate wants to leave you but you refuse to let them go; your child rejects your way of life (a life built on falsehoods and half truths) after you have spent time and money raising them the "right" way so you disown them]; or you are an alcoholic who does not want to face the truth so you batter and beat your loved ones because their non alcoholism is a constant reminder of your weakness. Denial expands emotionalism while acceptance short-circuits it.
To express one's self via emotionalism is to react from a state of unconsciousness. To feel life is to feel the presence of God. All was quiet before God started creating. This tells us that God's organic state is that of peace, of stillness. In order to increase God's presence in our lives we must become still within. Feeling is flowing; thus, it is stillness. Emotion is fighting; thus, it cannot be peace.