Feeling for the sake of feeling


I am a sentimental person. I made peace with that fact nine years ago, when I was 15 and having my most profound musical experiences. I have always been governed by Emotions, the most flighty deity of them all.

Even my blog name reflects this. Sentimentia was created to be my own personal space to reminisce, reflect, or break out some prose. It is meant to capture thoughts that are too deep-seated and unhurried for the flurry of everyday lifemy sanctuary of makeshift wisdom.

The word “sentimental” may have negative connotations to it, as Sherlock Holmes is only too happy to say:

(Anything you say, you fabulous man.)

Yes, if you are a sentimental person, there are some downsides:

  • Having trouble letting go of people and events and things that are meaningful to you
  • Being more emotionally vulnerable than most people; in other words, wearing your heart on your sleeve
  • Routinely being affected by music, art, film, people’s stories about their loved ones
  • Preferring the past rather than the future

In fact, quotations on sentimentality are pretty discouraging—if I were to define sentimentality based on these sayings, it would be:

“sentimentality: feeling for the sake of feeling”

It is:

“to look only at the emotion in it and at the emotion it stirs in us rather than at the reality of it…”

Frederick Buechner

… which is superficial and surface, I know.

I think about the person I’d be if I didn’t get lost inside my own head sometimes…

But then I think, what’s wrong with feeling for the sake of feeling, and to be aware of the emotion something stirs in us? I think I would go stir-crazy if I didn’t have some outlet, some way to channel these whirlwinds and storms occurring inside me. I think about the person I’d be if I didn’t get lost inside my own head sometimes; or what my memories would be like without that sunlit filter my mind applies to them; or the conversations I would miss if I weren’t the type to probe and listen and feel the person out.

There are whole worlds to be discovered. And I wouldn’t have missed out on them for the world.

So, while there are disadvantages, there are absolutely lovely benefits to being sentimental:

  • Being empathetic and compassionate to the superlative
  • Enjoying experiences (like music or sex, same thing) more deeply
  • Remembering small details about individuals
  • Being a great listener
  • Having intense sensory experiences
  • Recognizing the significance of events in your own life
  • Deeper conversations
  • Frequently reflecting and churning little bits of wisdom
  • Knowing that life is a mess full of shades of gray, and being okay with it

P.S. From what I’ve seen so far, WordPress is full of us. Keep writing, folks.

A response to Daily Post’s prompt: Sentimental


6 thoughts on “Feeling for the sake of feeling

  1. A lot of writing, especially poetry, is all about just feeling and exploring emotion. I’m certainly not that way in all of my life, but poetry is my outlet for expressing and exploring emotions that affect me. Life would certainly be a lot more dull without sentimental people!


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