Tag Archives: emotional repression
“You should be experiencing the life that’s happening to you, not the one you wish was happening. Don’t waste a moment of life trying to make other things happen; appreciate the moments you are given. Don’t you understand that every minute you are closer to death? This is how to live your life. You live as though you are on the verge of death because you are.” – Michael A. Singer
Engaging with Life
Many of us guard ourselves against the world on a day to day basis without even realizing it; in order to cope with stress, we tense our muscles, put our emotions on hold, and grit our teeth as we power through the day. Many people are lauded for having such thick “armour”and the ability to cope that comes with it, and thus validated, they never take full stock of the consequences of emotionally shutting off in this way.
When we so completely disengage from our emotions, however, we also lose the ability to lose ourselves in feelings of love, gratitude, and joy. Inevitably, this harms our interactions with those closest to us, and does nothing to nurture our deeper selves.
The above described denial of our emotions usually arises from the fact that it hurts to feel and, believing we are alone (or likely to be judged harshly by others) and being unable to deal with that pain, we begin to reflexively avoid feeling. While at first this may seem to make things easier, in the end it winds up costing us a great deal of energy; controlling a growing collection of ignored hurts is an endeavour that only becomes more draining as time goes on.
Inevitably, these repressed feelings begin to seep out in the form of nameless anger, sadness, anxiety, and fear—and by the time things get to this stage, we cannot pinpoint why we feel those things, as we long since divorced ourselves from the instigating stressors and hurts. Likewise, it’s simply part of the human condition to struggle with verbalizing emotions; our emotional patterning is, after all, set in place before we have words (between birth and the age of seven, usually). This makes it even more imperative that we not repress our emotions, as being fully “present”for them as they happen is key to healthily processing them and later being able to heal.