I never thought I would have to bring it up, but apparently something is rotten in the state of this age.
I don’t know whether it’s a by-product of the situation described in this well-written article –
– or if it’s a byproduct of the sad fact that way too many amateurs have taken over the “self-help” market, saturating it with dangerous misconceptions,
but the thing remains:
Way too many people these days seem to believe that nobody has a right to allow themselves to fully experience negative emotions. That those emotions should be disowned, forgotten, ignored, shut out into a mental closet. That asking for support and compassion is ridiculous – because a “really good friend” should kick those who are down, make fun of them and tell them to get over it IMMEDIATELY and get on with their lives (or, simply, get a life). As if this is supposed to be a panacea or something.
Emotions are real. In the sense that they are real electrochemical (and possibly quantum) processes in your body. If you pretend they don’t exist, they will not magically disappear.
You know why?
Because our bodies obey the laws of physics, and one of the prime laws is the law of conservation of energy and mass. All those chemicals your body releases; all the electric impulses jumping back and forth – they are real. Even if you think they don’t exist. They do.
The worst thing is that emotions, when left to their own devices, may well become somatised. Which means: emotions may turn into physical ailments. And quite a lot of serious illnesses may have psychosomatic roots.
…And then, there are real illnesses like clinical depression. With suicidal tendencies. And those “really good friends” who believe in derision and denial as the way to “cheer up” others (those “friends” who most likely have never really experienced clinical depression or even known it actually exists) – I reckon there’s a good number of deaths out there fuelled by those “best wishes”.
And often, clinical depression develops because of this pent-up, closeted pain – that could have been dealt with, but wasn’t.
The only reliable way to truly live through pain and emerge victorious is to face it.
Your pain is your enemy. Know your enemy. Keep it in your sights.
Identify the root of your feelings. It may get downright scary. You may have to rethink your own assessment of your being “a good person”. But that’s okay. Nobody really is. The virtue is knowing the depths of your darkness and never letting them run rampant and take control.
You yourself is your worst enemy.
Respect your enemy.
You may discover there are problems you need to solve so as to remove the root of your pain. Some of them will be easier to deal with than you expect; and yet, some will remain, for a multitude of reasons. There are always trade-offs and questions of ethics.
That is okay. You will just have to be aware that there is a potential source of pain in your life. There will be times when it does not bother you; there will be times when it will feel unbearable. Just remember: that is okay. Respect your choices and face your enemy again.
Here is a web page that can be trusted:
You should never let anyone brainwash you into feeling guilty because you are grieving over things others may find “insignificant”. There are things we cannot control, and sensitivity is among these things. Allow yourself to work through your pain. At your own pace.
You are not supposed to make it alone. “Humans” are “social animals”, and this is exactly why we need all those “friendships”, “families” and “loved ones”. They should be the kind that understands you. Someone who is kind to your kind.
It may be difficult to find support – particularly if you are “different”. I know it firsthand. I am so different that even “minorities” shun me and my blood kin will not always understand me.
But here is why my advice might be crucial here:
If your life is a rollercoaster of emotions – so strong that you know what it’s like, to cry for joy and cry for compassion, and I mean physically, involuntarily have tears well in your eyes because of beauty or injustice you witness – consider it carefully if you can find a place for something called “art” in your life. Write. Paint. Sing. Do not be afraid of expressing this joy and this pain – because you can be honest in both. Even if you have no technique – technique can be learnt. Emotion cannot. You have the advantage already.
And make sure you find “art” made by others that resonates with you. With your pain. Live through it; let it carry you over the stormy seas.
Even if you are alone physically, right here and right now – the multiverse is infinite.
In truth, you are never alone.