Emotional Expression

19 August 2016

Awake at 4 am.  I had an interesting dream that preceded a slue of good thoughts.  Now it's 4:30 and I'm writing about it.  Good time to prepare for Baby and our soon-to-be midnight hours together.

~Dream~  Ryan and I were walking through a common area - a hotel or something.  People from the ward were out and about.  There was a young woman - Sara (name change) - 15 years old, and she was upset.  She was walking towards her family and shrieking loudly and crying.  It was a scene.  I remember being taken aback in my dream.  Her emotions were so vigorous and loud in public, thinking "how mildly inappropriate," and "this is how she must act around her family."

And suddenly, I greatly appreciated it and loved her immensely. 

Ryan proceeded to our room, or wherever we were headed, and I went over to her.  I asked if I could join her, and then I just put my arms around her.  Not to comfort her out of her emotions, but to show my appreciation for her expression and join in.  I sat down by her and told her that I was a lot like her.  I felt emotions powerfully and without restraint sometimes.  Sometimes they flooded me too.  And of course we would  feel that way with everything that happens to us in life, and I love that she is releasing that!  I have things I need to release as well!  And then I gave her my blue calcite stone to carry and told her that this gem releases negative energy and converts it to positive energy.

Then I woke up.

And I laid in bed, my mind on its own unstoppable journey, thinking more fully about this.

I thought about emotional expression and how necessary it is, and how it should be more welcomed.  Like I always say, I can't push on the side of a ship and make it turn, but I can row my own boat in the best direction I choose.  So I won't speak for how the world or how society needs to be.  But in my world, emotional expression is celebrated!

To that girl's emotional outburst, my initial reaction was like, "whoa, stop it; that's inappropriate."  But when I paused and thought about how I could absolutely relate to life being unjust, aggravating, overwhelming, and this girl was just having an active moment of some combination of those.  Maybe her expression seemed out of place to me for a second, but once I related to it, I felt liberated as well.  Yes!  Life is confusing.  It's painful.  It's heart-breaking sometimes.  May I please take some of this space you've opened up to freely express yourself and release some of my own self too? 

And once value and even priority is shown towards emotional release, then the vital conversation of "releasing etiquette," so to speak, can be had.  The proper way to release emotions; proper time; proper place, etc.  Because that is important too.  But I see people trying to control or disapprove of other's emotional expressions all the time, and it's okay.  Express.  Release.  Feel.  Liberate.  That is so highly esteemed in my book.  Now, perhaps, we can talk about the ways to do that.  Ways that will be most effective and safe.

I thought of how I am going to teach my children this.  Sharla and I talk about this a lot.  My child is upset.  Kneel down so I'm at her level.  "Gosh yes, it IS so frustrating to be curious about a treat at the store and be denied that experience.  Disappointment.  Anger.  This is true what you are feeling!  I get disappointed and mad when some things happen in my life too.  What do you say we go to a park after we're done grocery shopping and let ourselves freely express this frustration?"

I thought of how there are designated smoking areas - places designed for us to poison our powerful and respectable bodies (ha!).  But, what if we had designated places for free emotional expression.  I'm imagining walking through an airport, and instead of a glass room for smokers to congregate, instead there is a room for people to enter and release some emotion while they wait for their plane.  Punching bags, typing machines, coloring books, soundproof rooms to scream and punch pillows, loud music and mirrors to dance.  And it's all completely acceptable.  Business people entering, throwing several punches and screams, then exiting and onto their work trip, feeling more free and light.  Everyone just understands that life is bothersome and aggravating and vexing, and we let it out.  It's as normal as a purchasing a pre-flight book.

Relating to the waves of voices on gun control.  I won't state my opinion, because I don't want this to be political.  But what if these people had access to locations of free emotional expression?  Places where they felt safe and allowed to give attention to their deepest heart aches.  Because those are not easy to come by.  Oh your father abandoned you as a child?  Gosh, I would feel worthless too.  I would have anger and sadness as well.  You must know that your feelings are allowed and valuable.  Keep screaming, my friend.

I thought about how last week, when Ryan and I were preparing for a trip and I was in our home, all by myself, making some zucchini bread.  The house was completely still and silent, except for me baking and the wanderings of my own mind.  My mind wandered into a room that held some strong emotions I was not aware were still as active and heated as they were.  They were powerful, and I was flooded instantly, feeling an immense weight as I began shoulder-shuddering cries.  I texted Sharla and told her of the situation and my strong emotional reaction - I couldn't think properly, being overtaken by my grievances.  She immediately offered me some clear insight on ways I could emotionally release.  Go to my room and punch a pillow.  Scream.  Get down on the floor and kick through a temper tantrum.  So I started beating the mixture of zucchini bread that I had been concocting.  I stirred with force and animation, letting out yelps and cries.  I beat that batter, letting it fly up into my hair, allowing myself to cry heartily.  In minutes, the emotions had left, and I felt better than before, realizing I had been growing a subconscious frustration over that situation, and now it was released, probably needing another release about it in the future.  I then proceeded cooking and my emotions were more free and peaceful than before.

Who needs a Kitchen Aid mixer when one has repressed emotions?

I just strongly believe in emotional expression.  In not feeling controlled by the emotions, not victim to their force, not unconsciously run by them.  But like temporary companions to them, greeting them when they show up, allowing them to have a voice, and then letting them roam free again.  Them - unattached.  And us - wiser and more connected to all things and people around us.

That's why I think emotional expression is a beautiful thing.  (So much symbolism to the starting picture of a waterfall).

To be what I am... To voice the things that only I can voice. To bear the blossoms that are commanded of my heart. This is what I want... ~Rainer Maria Rilke

We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit.
—  Audre Lorde

Upward and onward,


image source
 image source

1 comment :

  1. I love the way you think deeply and write about it for others to think about as well. That's one of the first things that attracted me to you! It's so true that it isn't healthy to suppress emotions and sweep them under the rug. It's too bad we don't have more socially acceptable ways of letting them out in a healthy way!