Monday, August 22, 2011

Excerpt from a Work-In-Progress

I once had a friend who couldn’t cry. Or at least that’s what she said. She would say, “You’re so lucky you can cry… I couldn’t cry if I wanted to.”

Yes, she could, but she decided as a child that crying was bad. She was taught to be “strong”, to show no emotion. As a result she promptly stuffed all her feelings in her gut and refused to ever look at them again. She would only feel things occasionally, when her gut would overflow. It would normally come out in angry bursts and then suddenly stop, as if nothing happened. This is how she spent her life, in a constant struggle to keep her gut from spilling all over the place. This was her decision, and her decision alone. She got what she wanted, a life without sadness.

The trouble is, once you shut the door to one emotion, you shut the door to all emotions. I know this from personal experience. I spent my life avoiding my feelings of sadness, but as a result I was unable to feel happiness or love. Emotions are who we are. They are our compass. Emotions are how we know right from wrong, how we distinguish good people from bad people, and how we decide what to do.

Did you ever meet someone, and on the outside they seemed like a perfectly nice person, but something inside you felt wrong about them? That’s your emotional body perceiving something your conscious mind cannot. If you live your life ignoring your emotional body, how will you know anything for sure?

You won't. Just like I didn’t. As a result I spent my life making mistake after mistake, becoming more and more miserable with each passing year. I felt as if I was willingly banging my head against a brick wall. I didn’t know why, but I couldn’t stop.

Do you ever wonder why nothing in your life ever goes right? It’s because you’re not listening to yourself. You’re ignoring your emotional body and making choices based on flawed data. No wonder you’re upset. Your inner self is screaming at you and you won’t listen. You won’t listen because if you do, you’ll have to feel the sadness you’ve tried so hard to avoid. But there’s no other way, your feelings will stay deep inside you until you acknowledge, and learn from them.

So next time you feel the rush of tears coming your way, cry. Don’t push it down, don’t laugh it off, don’t pretend it’s not happening and don’t try to control it. Honor your feelings and cry your eyes out. I mean deliberate, gasping for air, snot-dripping-down-your-nose bawling. You will feel like a million bucks afterward.

No comments:

Post a Comment