I don’t believe we ever compartmentalize our emotions or life experiences. I understand why so many make this attempt, believing in a successful outcome. But each and every life experience, and the subsequent emotions that live within that moment, become a part of who we are – like it or not. So I say, sit with the experience. Work through the emotion. Allow it time to heal, then release it. Even then, those emotions do not dissipate as the words might lead us to believe.
Emotions are energy. Energy never disappears, nor remains stagnant; regardless of how strong our compartmentalizing abilities may be. Instead, over time they permeate every cell in our body. Even when we believe they are completely stuffed away and hidden from view, their impact on us is life changing. They reshape our view of each and every thing that comes before us. And yes, those who are perceptive enough see the very thing we hope is kept from view.
But when we allow the emotion its due, when we refrain from reacting, and instead sit with the emotion, processing it, learning from it, allowing it air – it heals. Then what is left is something that adds to our being instead of takes. The emotion, that when compartmentalized skewed our view, now becomes an emotion that deepens our take of the world.
I must warn you, the mind does not like to sit with an emotion other than those that are pleasant and bright. Our logical mind will approve to us having surgery to heal physical damage. Doing so is logical, it says. It makes sense. Your emotional being requires the same. Painful, negative emotions metastasize if not treated, much in the same way as a cancer cell does within the physical body. We would never dream of ignoring a cancer cell; concluding we’ll be just fine. Yet, we do, when it comes to our emotions.
As you move through your life, take the time to tend to your emotional health. Close your eyes, then look within. How many boxes of unfinished business do you have blocking your way. Hurts from others. Hurts from your youth. Events that ended in failure.
These boxes carry a two-fold problem: they block those that love you from getting in, and they block you from every getting out.
You may ask then, how these events could possibly add to your experience. That’s easy. Within every experience carries the potential to expand your soul; to broaden and deepen or restrict and constrict. It’s up to you. It’s always been up to you. I know many people who have been through the worst of the worst. Moments in time that altered everything; moments so crushing it could have shut them down completely, causing them to live a constricted life of fear and resentment and hurt. Instead, they chose to allow it to expand their compassion and deepen their understanding. They sat with this complex, evolving, evolving emotion, sometimes for years, and learned, and saw, and grew.
I’ve had quite a few hurts and events that have brought me to my knees. But after a time of recovery, I expanded and opened – letting the energy flow. Those moments have strengthened me, and softened me; strengthened my faith, softened my compassion for others. That choice was mine. We’ve got one shot at this life. Dig in, live it. The choice is yours.
For those who are curious, this blog was written while listening to: Into the Mystic by Van Morrison, Drift Away by Dobie Gray, Home by Phillip Phillips, Dirty Paws by Of Monsters and Men and Seasons by Future Islands.