May 25, 2010

evolving emotion

lately, a constant theme in many a group discussion has been feelings and emotions. a friend commented this last week that we {inferring our culture and society} are taught that feelings are "bad" and that we are generally expected and even encouraged to refrain from feeling anything.

the above picture provoked in my mind an analogy of "the man" erasing the chalkboard of feelings, symbolically erasing them from all of humanity.

that may seem extreme, yet it is a prominent rule i have been living by for most of my life. i always thought, "being angry is not acceptable, that makes me a bad person." i guess after years of feeling as though no one acknowledged my feelings and me conditioning myself to ignore my feelings, my mind must have started flying on autopilot. regardless of the emotion that would start to simmer inside, my mind noticed only the facts of situations while disputing the very idea that i was feeling anything but nothing {were you able to follow that string of thought?}

this numbness to feeling aided my eating disorder for years. i have heard people say "this person was beyond feeling" - well, i just now understood what that meant. i truly was beyond feeling. the only feeling i knew how to feel was anger mixed with hatred, and that was only when i had stuffed it down too long and it came bursting out of my entire being. i feel badly for everyone who bore the brunt of those times that i *burst* open.

still, after having worked most of my life to get rid of the presence of feeling, it seems so strange to actually try to register what my body and mind are feeling. i still have so much to learn and practice; my emotional intelligence is continually evolving. i have come to believe that what makes us human is the ability to feel, and that in feeling we are able to experience empathy and compassion for one another. i hope one day that i will be able to be truly in-touch with my feelings.

... until then:

just for the record, today i'm feeling hopeful. how about you?