i did not sleep because i did not like how i felt before i went to bed. or, rather… i did not like how i didn’t feel. and this, after an evening of talking about emotions and feelings and how we express… and suppress… them. our professor was talking about how america has been conditioned and socialized to suppress emotion. here, emotion is seen as weakness. and how dare we be weak? even when we are amongst those we love...
what sadness… when we have to tiptoe around our feelings because we know that, should we feel a certain way and show it, we will be judged as weak! weakness... a twig that breaks. we… break.
we are fragile.
we are fragile. no. we are not fragile. we had better not be fragile! but if we are fragile… if we must be fragile… we had better not show it… or else! what sadness!
i recall a conversation with a patient who told me, ‘i shut off my emotions and feelings so i can survive… so i can make it. but… it hurts.’ she spoke of her loss of feeling. loss of connection. but do i dare to speak of mine? i speak of loss. yes. but i do not call it mine. i call it someone else’s. or. i keep my mouth shut.
do i dare to ask myself how i feel now? do i dare to say? do i dare to say i feel…? do i dare to say i feel…? do i dare to say i feel… how? how do i feel? do i even dare to feel how i feel? do i dare to sense it? do i dare…?
everything i’ve ever witnessed and experienced is being challenged by a new teaching that says i must feel. i must honor emotion. i must honor it… not only in myself... but also in others… and to others. i must open the door to emotion, invite it inside, and let it sit with me. and let it tell me stories that make me laugh. and let it tell me stories that make me cry.
and so, this morning, i open the door. i sit. i sit… and slowly… i feel.
i feel… agitated? touched?
my fingers are trembling as they scale this rediscovered land.
the viscosity of its truth pools thickly in the valleys of my temples… rises into my forehead… storms into my eyes… which are watering so i can hardly see what i’m writing.
i surrender to the sanctity of who i really am.
i am human.
i am smiling.
i am weeping.