In one of those weekly fights with my elder sister (when we were really young), for a change my mom had taken her side. I was furious and not knowing how to channel my anger, I put some home-made scrub into the back pockets of her jeans, that were hanging behind the bathroom door. That doused my anger immediately and I went about my days and forgot, until it was found out. I have surely been as annoying as an alarm clock to my siblings, more than they deserved and I didn’t feel even a pinch of guilt. (**Asian Sky shop moment- I am a changed person now). Maisie Williams (Acted as Arya Stark in Game of thrones) had a problem feeling her emotions and facing them, during a short period of time. On-screen and off-screen, she couldn’t get herself to cry.
The internet gets truck loads of posts everyday, telling you- how to manage your anger and control it; not be upset and how to find true happiness; remain calm and not over-react; and there is a one-sided opinion. We are biased towards different feelings; branding half of them to be negative and the others to be positive. The downside to this partiality in our mind-set is that, we are never accepting to the situation at hand and resist it just to avoid the ‘defamed feelings’.
This makes me think of the black and white symbol of Yin and Yang. We need both black and white to balance out our emotional self and feel whole. Never are we always happy or always sad; that’s unnatural. Even when we are happy we do have reasons to feel sad but we have more reason to be happy. Even when we are sad we do have reason to be grateful and happy, but in this moment we are acknowledging the grief. The curvy line in the symbol signifies that there are no absolute separations between the two opposites. Similarly, I don’t think there is a defined line as to our emotions and we can switch over when ever we want.
Have you ever gone scuba diving or underwater in a submarine? It’s a strange experience. Underwater the same colours are seen as darker or as a different shade (watch video- link for the same). We breathe through our mouth and cannot communicate except using hand gestures, in a dive. Even time seems to pass quickly when we’re inside. There is very little thinking and more observing; we almost forget ourselves for a bit. Synonymously different emotions make us see the world differently. Like the colours, the same people we love become our worst nightmares; Time flies when we are doing something we love and it seems a drag when we hate doing something; Anger makes us oblivious to everything, shortens the breath and we can’t focus on anything except ourselves, while bliss makes us want to indulge in things around us, breathe with ease and lose ourselves in the act.
Staying underwater for long is not comfortable for new divers. Its takes time to understand how to manoeuvre and handle ourselves. We are not born with this knowledge but it’s learnt. It’s obviously not a mandate to learn to be a diver, but I see more people challenging themselves and getting coached to be professional divers. Why are we not diving deep into our emotional needs as a person? Resisting the discomfort of new and defamed emotions will never get us through. Validation and judgements, try and scare us away from being open to feeling everything. If we want to learn how to manoeuvre and handle ourselves through every emotion, we have to dive deep.
We should wish that better things happen to us, but if it doesn’t then we might as well, get to know ourselves in the worst. When the situation calls for you to feel sad, angry, remorseful, unsatisfied, guilty, fearful, hateful, pissed off, frustrated, irritated, anxious and all those under-the-carpet feels; you be ready to feel it, just as readily we want to feel the opposite. That for me is being vulnerable to yourself first. If you can face your emotions, you’re better placed to manage sharing it with others.
If we all hide our feelings and don’t express it, we wouldn’t be any different from robots. Vulnerability is defined as – “exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.” However, being vulnerable is credited to empowering you and giving you strength. Contradictory? The crux of it is that, if you have been through the drama; and know yourself through and through— you know you can handle the worst that will be thrown at you. Knowing that gives you confidence and strength to be bare and not hide any part of you. This comes only when you have experienced the feelings (that we resisted); let it come and let it go, leaving you a changed person.
To all the Hit-and-Run drivers out there- the seriousness of not repeating a mistake, is felt only after being ashamed about it the first time? The fire and rage to fight all odds again, comes so easily when you have faced your failures. I was down with some illness for a month and recovery took another; which got me really weak and drained. I felt the emotion strongly at that point of time; angered and frustrated not having trained for two months. Getting back in the game after the frustration of two months couldn’t be more sweet. Let us allow ourselves to feeling everything we can, to diving in deeper waters only to come out, seeing the same lands with different eyes.