Psychic NUMBNESS …the tragedy of silenced emotions
Once upon my high school days, our no-nonsense principal noticed two boys get into the same toilet, and gave them enough time to settle into whatever mischief they were up to. Checking his watch, he tiptoed and knocked. “I know two of you are in there, you better come out before I come in” They came out, mouths shut. They had each just taken one thirsty cigar puff, and they tried not to let the smoke out through their mouth or nostrils, the natural way. Their eyelids began to shake as cigar smoke fought for its independence. The end of this tragic story is that soon, smoke found its way out through the boys’ ears! TALK OF LEGENDS! What is true of this smoke, might be true about sorrow! for as F.J. Braceland said, “sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep”
HUMAN BEINGS ARE FEELINGS BEINGS. We show up on this side of our planetary existence with zero inhibitions, crying when in pain, sometimes loudly so, and laughing when happy, often times, loudly so. Shock on poor little us, our joys get trimmed, and our pains get rimmed. (I once heard a mother tell a babysitter not to make the baby laugh too much because, where the laughter reaches, crying soon follows, in similar magnitude). And so socialization against full expression begins! Turning little bundles of joy into uncomfortably tense valves of repressed emotions! Knowing not, that SILENCING OUR EMOTIONS POISONS THE SOUL
GROWING UP becomes synonymous with fitting into certain ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. Speaking one’s mind gets measured by respectonometers calibrated by insecure significant others, and those in power. And even when we know something inside of us is fighting to come out, we don’t allow it, so that we are accepted, and we don’t seem weak, vulnerable, a.k.a, too emotional, alias, too sensitive.
The normal emotional progression would go something like; A stimulus/ trigger in our environment causes an emotion to arise, which then, is expressed in some form of behaviour, thus discharging it, to be replaced by another emotion. When this progression is blocked, either by denial, shame, or any other reason for suppression, tension begins to build up. Of course, it is not to say that every time an emotion arises, one should immediately act on it. Between the stimulus and response is APPRAISAL, with which one finds and adaptive way of responding to a given emotion, or shifting it. However, when emotions such as sorrow, fear, love, happiness, overexcitement, anger, sadness and others are not allowed to be recognized, appreciated, experienced, and thus discharged, they get frozen in the body causing muscular and psychological tension, which may lead to a myriad of mental and physical ailments.
ALIENATED FROM OUR INNER WORLD, we become misaligned with our outer world. We disown our inner raw realities. We get out of touch with our inner world, and we are get into a state of PSYCHIC NUMBNESS, where we are blind to the roots of our actions as long as we tick the expectations box. Driven by behaving right, we are moved by forces we do not understand. Over time, we not only learn not to show our feelings, WE LEARN NOT TO KNOW OUR FEELINGS. And that dear reader, is THE REAL TRAGEDY!
GIVING UP the ability to experience emotions without judgment leads to children estranged from their own inner lives, strangers to their own feelings, who grow up to become parents who tend to, covertly, overtly, or through modeling, produce emotionally remote and inhibited children.
And the cycle continues…
Watch out for how to break this cycle soon!