Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Sadness, surprise, happiness,
disgust, anger, fear
Facebook gave me a notice last night that a close friend had changed his relationship status to "Single". Within an hour, I received great news about a close friend that her chemotherapy is showing amazing progress.

My heart had gone from aching to elated within one hour.

Primal emotions are hella cool in that aspect. I didn't hear the good news and immediately reflect on the contradiction of the unfortunate news I'd heard earlier. It didn't even occur to me to wonder about it. I simply and instantly experienced joy. Just as I had simply and instantly experienced sadness prior to that.

One of the most difficult things for adults to do is to accept the instinctual emotion and go with it. Young children haven't learned yet to question their emotions. When they get angry or happy, no one doubts it. The howl of a scorned child is rattling, just as the glee of a giggling child is uplifting. Somewhere along the process of aging, we learn to try and mask our true emotions. Or we learn to analyze why we're feeling them. Or we try to force ourselves to feel differently. Then we can't figure out why everything is so complicated. We see children playing and wish for those days when we were so carefree and free spirited.

I think the free spirited presence we see in children, and often miss in ourselves, doesn't have to be missed. I think all it would take to "be a kid again" is to truly accept our emotions as they come. Here's the snag though: In order to re-program ourselves to allow that instinctual emotion to full fruition, we have to be conscious of the attempt to block it. If we're focusing on anything, it's no longer just happening, but instead being forced. How do you intentionally unblock an ingrained response to an instinctual emotion without blocking something else in the process? There's an unending thread of logic unraveling here that I'm going to ignore for the time being. I've made my point. However, if you happened to miss it among the zigging and zagging, it's that basic emotions - even though they are instinctual - are very complex yet so simple. And we should all let ourselves experience them fully more often.

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