Friday, December 20, 2013

Strong Emotions

I normally follow the rules of academic writing when I write. I don't quote more than a sentence, sometimes two of someone else's source. But *moved* me. I know exactly what this blogger is saying, because I've often thought it myself.

"You just need to hang out at the post office or Twitter for a little while to learn that folks only feel comfortable speaking out when they’re happy or angry. In our culture, anger and happiness are considered strong emotions- solid fortresses from which to come out swinging. Sadness, confusion, and loneliness are seen as weak – houses made of straw – things others might feel uncomfortable witnessing and thus might feel the need to blow down. To fix. And none of us – not one last one of us- wants to be fixed. We just want to be heard. So we hide. We stay quiet about our “weaker” feelings until we’re happy or angry again – at which point we feel safe coming out. This is a shame because the world ends up feeling like it’s made up of nothing but manically angry and happy folks, since they’re the only ones talking.  Since we only share “strong” emotions, the world becomes but a stage – made up of folks offering their most solid, bullet-proof, black and white sound bites instead of real grey people, trudging through- figuring things out slowly. That world gets lonely for a real live grey trudgy person."

Wow. I know the rest of the article goes back to the religious stuff, but what a powerful description of sadness, grieving, and the tough side of our lives as humans. Its often said that those of us who can embrace the "other" emotions along with happy and angry are the "creative" ones. That we are empaths, more in touch with our emotional state and the emotional state of others.

I think I want to challenge that. I think that anyone can get in touch with their emotion. Whether they want to or choose to express them, and whether they choose to express them in a manner similar to ours, is something that they choose, not us. And that's where bewilderment to the emotional condition of others happens. We don't understand their reaction, so we assume that they are hiding and not expressing their emotion properly.

There are shades of gray everywhere. You just have to know where to look for them. (And the answer is NOT in a poorly written, poorly conceived popular book series). 

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