Abstract....There is a stigma undeniably involved with the releasing of emotions. The undeniable truth that hits the face the moment we feel that compelling urge to break free of the feelings that seem to strangle our throats. Somewhere between what we reveal and who we are inside is exactly where we struggle with the bottled emotions. As we hear the all- time used “get over it”, the truth is we do not get over it until we get through it. Letting the manifestation of emotions doesn’t necessarily imply, that it is a sign of weakness. It doesn’t show the frailty and fragility of a person, rather his/her God’s honest truth, that he/she is truly alive. So, let him/her feel alive. As to feel life in every cell, in every fiber is to throb, to feel the pulsating emotions as life comes in so many seasons and colors. And so does its episodes and events that may either traumatize or energize.
Somewhere between who we are suppressed to be and who we desire to be, lies the deep seated need to come out in the most raw, real and vibrant manner, the one that caresses our heart and mirrors the soul. But why doesn’t society realize the need to just ‘let it be’, as this is the only way we will ever begin to love the journey. Who ever said we will find comfort in the dungeons of dark? While growing up, many of us are not taught to feel and express fear, shame, guilt, apprehension as these are often suppressed. This need for suppression has been passing on through generations as there is that stigma inherently involved with the manifestation of feelings. As someone cries out in extreme pain, society sees it as a shortcoming of that person. But the truth is from this position of powerlessness, rises the power as he/she is given the dignified freedom to cry and cry out loud. The tears that fall drop by drop as the sadness clouds the eyes because there was that pain all along that burned inside, yet the society dictates it as a shame.
Emotions sustain a person’s desire to continue living. And if this essentiality is denied, then it undeniably kills the urge to feel alive. Such is the truth behind the fact, that most people are existing and not living. If the stigma is erased and a person is free to indulge in the moments of weakness, allowed to reveal their unrevealed feelings, then in time, they will transform their weakness to strength. Afterall, feelings are what brings a transformation from inside out. They hold the seeds of transformative power. There is this undeniable hold of emotions that summon us in weakness but in the end, they sustain us by their strength. That’s when someone’s transformed and learns to live from the imagination and not the memories of hurt, guilt or shame. As contained emotions are not erased, rather they somehow live inside and eventually overpowers everything else. But with the unhindered flow of them, he/she learns to fly with the limitless potentials instead of looking back at the limiting past. With the azure sky overhead, the ground beneath, and seasons in the air, who ever said life is over?
Somebody pointed to us, someone dictated us to express in the quiet corners how to feel and repress them at the same time. As we did not learn to subdue them on our own, rather we’ve been taught to internalize them instead of externalizing our undeniable emotions. There is this fear that once those feelings come out, especially of sadness, it will be overwhelming and pull them into further sadness
To maintain a stiff upper lip is the dictation of society. To let them flow like a river flows has been labeled as shameful. Societal norms attempt to dampen this free flux. There is this traditional need to maintain that smile, no matter what lies behind that broken smile. But as per Dr. Jill Bolte, a neuroanatomist, the duration is only 90 seconds for an emotion to be triggered and chemically processed through the body. Any residual emotional response that still stays is more of a thought pattern than our emotions. With the release, we sense the echo of that fathomless vastness of life as we break free from the society’s dicta. There is a greater need to destigmatize the stigma of emotion, as any stifling or suppressing of emotions results in a gradual mental depression, and consciously or subconsciously, we slip into the downfall of life. It comes with its grip on our mental health and gets manifested through a wide range of negative behaviors. The underlying reason is we are in search of ways to numb the emotions, rather than heal them in an authentic way. One might indulge in drugs, alcohol, sex, eating disorder, shopping compulsion and many other pathways that lead to a gradual debasement of the body and mind. That then becomes a path of descent, rather than of ascent.
As per studies, there is a string interconnection between emotions and physical sensations in the body. Emotions rule our behaviors and physiological states. We have different emotions during survival mode or pleasurable interactions or salient moments. Different emotional states are associated intrinsically with distinct body sensations. These emotional experiences could underlie our physical sensations. These emotion- triggered bodily sensations get manifested as stress related disorders and pounding headaches. As we connect with our emotions, we intentionally bring an awareness and become conscious of the physical sensations in the body. By acknowledging those sensations, we become capable of harnessing and understanding those feelings and can prevent ourselves from going along a downward path. This effort takes a conscious approach from us and can be attained through mindfulness.
Body scan practiced in mindfulness is an effective way to tune into presence which lets us incline the mind into a sensory experience and the discoveries that come along the way. Through the body scan, we develop an emotional awareness. By having a better perception of the physical sensations as the emotions rise and fall, we can choose how to respond to them and not be reactive to them. We can be conscious of them by bringing an awareness of them which eventually leads to a healing of the body and mind. Acknowledgement gives us an opportunity to sit with our own emotions, however uncomfortable they maybe as we tap into the here and now and gradually rationality settles down over irrationality. This then becomes a conscious choice, practiced through mindfulness. In the process, we learn to master to process those emotions in a healthy manner which ultimately impacts our mental and physical health.
Author.....Jayita Bhattacharjee....born in Calcutta, India and later on education from University of Houston in Economics, she had chosen her career as a trustee and teacher. Her Indian residence is in the vicinity of the famous Belurmath. Currently, she is settled in Tampa, Florida.
Her books " The Ecstatic Dance of Life",
" Sacred Sanctuary", " Light of Consciousness", " Dewdrops of Compassion" " are among the many that she has authored.