Living with life is very hard. Mostly we do our best to stifle life - to be tame or to be wanton, to be tranquillised or raging. Extremes have the same effect; they insulate us from the intensity of life.
And extremes - whether of dullness or fury - successfully prevent feeling. I know our feelings can be so unbearable that we employ ingenious strategies—unconscious strategies—to keep those feelings away. We do a feelings-swap, where we avoid feeling sad or lonely or afraid or inadequate, and feel angry instead. It can work the other way, too—sometimes you do need to feel angry, not inadequate; sometimes you do need to feel love and acceptance, and not the tragic drama of your life.
It takes courage to feel the feeling—and not trade it on the feelings-exchange, or even transfer it altogether to another person.
— Jeanette Winterson