I'm just going to jump right into this one.
I'm sick of the guilt that is placed on people in our culture when they aren't feeling happy. As if my bad mood or emotional strife could "rub off" on you and surreptitiously steal away YOUR happiness. Well, yeah, maybe. That's called empathy. But it's not designed to make you feel miserable. It's there to make the miserable person feel less alone, and thus, alleviate the suffering instead of prolonging it.
But this can only happen if the person who is suffering feels free to share their emotional truths with the world. When the world turns its back, all that pain has nowhere to go. Covering it up with a smile is as ridiculous as a hoarder covering her stuff with a bright red tablecloth—see, now, doesn't that make it festive? Doesn't it just SCREAM Christmas?
I have been shamed and shushed all of my life for being willing to admit to having unhappy feelings. Heck, not too long ago, I was even told "why would you want to post that picture of yourself? It's so unflattering" after finding out that a former student of mine had taken his own life. Yeah, sorry, I didn't realize how uncalled for that was. I should have posted a sexy tap dancing number instead.
This disease that we have, this dis-ease over feeling anything that is not "positive," of insisting that everything
is okay, or fine even, when sometimes, it just ISN'T, is the cause of so much additional suffering and pain and damage and devastation in our lives.
If we were allowed, when we were, say twenty-three, to experience the honest pain of miscarrying a baby at three months, to grieve openly, instead of keeping it a secret and pushing down all the accompanying feelings, maybe we wouldn't be causing so much suffering for ourselves and others in our lives now. Sure, we weren't married, and the father-to-be was a different color, and there's no way he would have been accepted into the family. And we didn't really fit in with his either, due to them being in a higher class. It's enough to make a woman shut down to the possibility of trying again. Even years after the fact, with a loving husband who wants nothing more than to start a family.
Our bodies are strong. They keep going and going. With or without the health of the mind. Until we are automatons, living, doing, acting, machining our way through. Until the mind, which drives the whole train, snaps. Can't control the cogs anymore. Can't get the body to stop destroying itself. Can't get it to do anything.
That's what happens when you train your body to run on autopilot. It stops listening to the heart-mind.
And the heart-mind gets upset about this. It wants to be part of your life, too. It wants a seat at the table. Even a booster seat will do. Heck, give it a bib, it might dribble, make a mess.
That's part of life too. It's not all neat and tidy. Better that our emotions are allowed to make a mess from time to time than shut them down, make them play poker, pretend they don't exist. Because if your emotions don't exist, then really, neither do you.
I refuse to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. I don't want to live among the emotionally undead. Before this happens—people, please, find your feelings. Acknowledge them, let them make you human. And while you're at it, let me have mine.
Climate change deniers? How about emotional landscape deniers? Maybe we can't accept the reality of what our behavior is doing to the planet, because we can't accept our own feelings or what they do to us when we refuse to see them.
Ready to face your feelings? A good place to start might be donating to Hurricane Relief.