One of the things that amaze me these days is the constant concern of man to look happy. If this concern would be authentic and oriented strictly to obtaining inner happiness, everything would be alright. Unfortunately, the concern is only for pretending we are happy. Everywhere you look – online environment, printed press, kindergarten, church, every day job – entire mankind seems to fake happiness. We are so preoccupied in showing everybody we are happy all the time, that we forget even how to deal with heavy emotions, if they catch us in public. We even teach our children to avoid, hide, ignore or just burry them. And that, I think, is one of the worst things we could teach our children.
I am sure there are a lot of psychologists and researchers that have studied this phenomenon, especially when referring to virtual environment. But how many of you actually know a psychologist or a researcher? I don’t and even if I did, I am not writing this in the hope of saying something groundbreaking for them. I am writing because I have been extremely sad to see how people that express, accept and deal with these emotions are being treated. Heavy emotions are prohibited and their holders are instantly labeled as mean, envious, deviated or toxic people.
Because in these past years we started to treat sadness, nostalgia, melancholy, fury, sorrow as, well … diseases. I admit we cannot be sad, nostalgic or furious all the time, but, equally, we cannot be (actually pretend to be) happy all the time either. Or empowered. Or satisfied. Or enthusiastic. Life has ups and downs and it is alright to feel the entire range of emotions that we are gifted with, instead of trying to suppress the ones which are not … trendy. It is a completely different thing to express everything we feel without any discernment and this is not what I plead for here. But I am convinced that only by allowing ourselves to feel everything we will improve our lives. How come?
If all you have taught yourself to feel is joy, when something less joyful will happen to you or your closed ones, you will not know how to deal with your sadness, you might feel like the end of the world has hit you and just want give up enjoying life, fearing you will experience that emotion in the future.
If fury is something you have buried deeply into your conscience year after year after year, you did nothing else than bottling an instable compound that will eventually blow. And chances are it will do that in the worst place and time imaginable. So your life would improve if you learn to deal with your inner fury little by little, occasion after occasion. You control your fury, the fury doesn’t control you!
If nostalgia appears right in the middle of a friend reunion, because a detail reminds you of something you regretted in the past and you don’t have practice in dealing with it, then you risk ruining everybody’s mood!
How can you move on without the stages that help you heal? Take the worst case scenario and have in mind The Kübler-Ross model, which postulates that a survivor of an intimate's death experiences a series of emotions in five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Without those, how can you move on?
Even a not so hard life example needs healing, either it’s the loss of a love, a job, a friend and you cannot heal if you do not allow yourself some heavy emotions.
Moreover, the experiences I had over the years showed me that in moments of sadness, melancholy or nostalgia I tend to analyze the most: things, events, persons and myself and come up with solutions, after understanding, grieving and accepting what happened.
What I cannot understand is what right do some people have in forbidding other people to feel these heavy emotions. And by forbidding I am referring to measures of social alienation that masters of manipulation or just plain self sufficient people use in forcing others to embrace their “must be happy all the time” manifesto: isolation, bantering, exposure of their secrets of weaknesses, emotional blackmail. Maybe, just like other people suffering from different complexes, these people cannot handle a different opinion that undermines their so called authority. In the fast moving and so openly exposed period we live in, having an identity, stating your beliefs, not following the herd just for acceptance or “likes” becomes a task tougher to handle every day.
Few days ago, my son was playing a video game (“Toy Story”) and got upset each time he couldn’t complete a level. We explained him several times he mustn’t cry or get angry because of this, as the game is intended to make him have a good time, not getting upset. That is important for him to enjoy himself, even if he has to start over again each time he does not pass a level.
At some point, my 5 year old boy started to hide his emotions. One day he came and asked me: “Mom, am I allowed to cry? Just a little bit, please, because I am very upset with this game and I just need to cry. I promise I will still enjoy the game and don’t give up on playing it, but now I just need to cry a little bit.”
Conclusion? I am sure each of you will have one of its own.
Author: Oana Rădeanu
Bio: I am a 35 year old female from Romania and I am in love with writing.
You can find my work here www.catchy.ro/author/oana-radeanu and here www.oanasimaicum.wordpress.com/category/english-section