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Yanking the Fig Leaf Off Our Emotional Nudity
Child's Self-Criticism Equals Shame
There is a great number of folks scattered all over the globe having a hard time getting out of the prison of their limiting mindsets. As the time is doing its part, what used to be only mind-the-jailer, to some of them has turned into mind-the-tormentor.
All that just because somewhere back in childhood they were made embarrassed of their emotional nudity which had to be selectively cultivated and refined into something more socially acceptable.
Along that process some of us glued that proverbial fig leaf on our shameful emotional nakedness, not really sure anymore how much of it was appropriate to be exposed to the ever critical eyes of the world.
Long Forgotten Emotional Ease
Especially those of us with particularly sensitive and delicate emotionality took into life this need to cover our most intimate reality, oftentimes to the point of getting alienated from that warm being that we used to be.
Having lost the touch with our true selves, many of us completely forgot what it really felt like to be at ease, playful, genuinely happy and loving, flowing with the current of events without bumping into something every step of the way, often with bruises that won't heal.
Even that life-long continuum of breathing got somehow affected, becoming shallow and often stopping as if we are not sure whether it's time to inhale or to exhale, with muscle working against muscle, and diaphragm going into a chronic spasm of adulthood.
Control by No Control
One of the biggest paradoxes about our emotions is that - in order to control our emotions, we have to stop controlling them. Confusing, isn't it? At least until we accept as true that it's not our emotions that are hurting us - but our unconscious resistance to them. It means going against emotional flow, rowing against the river of energy in us.
Trained to go selective about acceptability of our feelings, instead of allowing them to just run their course and be replaced with something else. You see, there is a big difference between suppressing and replacing.
If I am experiencing a momentary spike of anger, I can let it be, accept it exactly as it is and where ever it is located in my body as that "felt sense" - but then in a moment or two I can replace it with a realization that the situation doesn't deserve that anger, and choose to find it possibly funny or something.
If I was to suppress it, I would instantly cut the energy flow to it, denying it, fighting it, not accepting it as a part of my humanness. In the first case I am not controlling it, in the second case I am putting my heavy foot on emotional brakes.
Those Bad, Bad Feelings
In the process of suppressing we don't only stop our bad emotions but good ones as well, which otherwise might replace them. It's also a wrong defense mechanism at work. At an injury we automatically tense up to increase the flow of adrenaline, which makes the pain lesser.
However, tensing up in the process of suppression only makes the "bad" emotion stronger on its way to the unconscious "reservoir", almost as if it is saying to us: "O.K. this time I am backing off, but the next time I'll come out stronger".
This not knowing how to handle those "bad" emotions is called in the popular jargon "poor stress management". At this point it could be useful to remind ourselves that our emotions are our constructs - not ourselves, and we might as well stop identifying with them. Our language is misleading us when we say: "I am sad; I am happy; I am disappointed..."etc., because it somehow mixes with our identity of those: "I am a human being; I am a man; I am a father..."etc. Again, we are not our mental constructs any more than a painter "is" his painting.
Emotions are a magical part of our being human, and their energy is decisive about our state of overall wellbeing - but they are still only something to manage, not something to "be". So, think about it the next time you say "I AM pissed off" - No, YOU are not, you are just producing those emotions.
A Garden Variety of Fig Leaf Users
Indeed, it's amazing what those first few years of our life can do to the rest of our life. Some of us "fig users" turn shy, withdrawn, others are scared of romantic commitments, still others become "Mr.-or-Mrs. Nice".
And yet some others are playing martyrs to their family, sacrificing all their time for the family's comfort and well being. Hey, isn't that a sort of a virtue to be respected? Sorry, but it isn't, because such folks are living someone else's life instead of their own, while deceiving themselves how "family means everything to them."
What about having fun, friends, travel, hobbies, spending weekends in a cozy ambient of home reading a book, or having a long distance chat with someone...? Indeed, all kinds of overdoing altruists, with one or the other version of a fig leaf glued to their emotionality which is so painful to face.
Bliss with Emotional Freedom
In some of my articles I shamelessly brag about my producing blissful feelings at will. That, my friends, would be impossible without a free emotional fluidity. A few times a day, for my self- healing "tune-up" I make myself flooded with those high frequency emotions of pure joy.
No "reasons" necessary, it's simply something to do, and we can do it intentionally, not waiting for something that delightful to happen in our life.
Of course, I don't feel like that all the time, I like experiencing my emotional totality, the full spectrum of it. It's only that I may lower the intensity of those "bad ones", and let them fade away to be replaced with something else. Not suppressing them, why would I, they are not scaring me.
Reclaiming Our Emotional Nudity
However, it's never too late to start ungluing piece by piece of that fig leaf off our emotional nudity. Since our psycho-physical organization always strives towards its healthy equilibrium, our allowing attitude gives the green signal to all that suppressed material to slowly start surfacing.
It's the healing time marked with a period of mixed emotions, while the old mindset hasn't left as yet, and the new one hasn't settled in as yet as a replacement. We may also experience what is known as a "healing crisis", or the body detox, with toxic emotions and their chemical equivalents leaving the body, giving us temporary symptoms of a cold or some other minor discomfort.
Don't let your dark imagination picture something like an emotional "Hoover Dam" collapsing and with you drowning in your own emotions. It doesn't get that way. By the way, our imagination is also just our function to use, not the reflection of the factual reality. So, why not use that imagination to picture an emotional renaissance instead?
For the Pure Joy of just Being
So, the day may come when our emoting will feel something like the fun of surfing on the crest of some upheavals, those small, and those big ones. The trick is to stay on the surfing board, and swiftly climb back on top of it if we happen to fall.
Getting wet is O.K., but not wallowing in water and cursing either the waves or our surfing skill. The feeling of "dropping the fig leaf" is enormously liberating and spiritual. I should know, I lost mine some decades ago, and I just hope no one picked it up.
So, here comes the end of my little metaphoric presentation of this strange phenomenon in our personal evolution of our disconnecting from our pristine emotionality, and our ever waiting opportunity to reconnect with it. May everyone some day experience the divine moment of becoming who they are.