Sunday, May 25, 2008

Emotional Freedom

My previous post ("Total Responsibility") ended on a quote by Eric Robins, MD...

"Some day the medical profession will wake up and realize that unresolved emotional issues are the main cause of 85% of all illnesses."


Actually, I have been planning to write about this since I returned from Guwahati, but well… you all know me, right! :D

This Guwahati trip has been much more than just a “fun holiday” for me – it has provided me an excellent opportunity for my own spiritual growth. I have been able to look at myself from so many different angles there, that it has sort of completely changed my outlook on so many things!

One of these “angles” I talked about in an earlier post (probably the shortest post on my blog!) – “Share A Good Read” – where I mentioned about my weird attachment (at a sub-conscious level) to criticism!

The other thing I “saw” there was my inability to express my emotions in the right way – and especially hurt and anger. How did I “See” this finally? Actually, I saw it in my cousin Rishabh. Watching him was like re-living my own childhood!

I know it sounds crazy – especially to those of my readers who have no clue/interest about/in such things, but, that’s what happened there! And it is actually a universal phenomenon - it’s just that not many of us are aware of the fact that we may have developed this “problem” (for that’s the way it is perceived) as we grew up… and so we continue believing that we are perfectly normal… until something happens in life that forces us to re-think!

Rishu is a brilliant kid – good personality, outgoing, friendly, all smiles all the while, very responsible, involved in lots of extra-curricular activities, takes excellent care of his younger sister, makes no fuss about his food even – but he’s totally incapable of expressing his emotions!

Reason? I don’t know… could be anything. But, he’s already gone into this “auto-mode” of controlling his emotions… and he’s just 10! It’s as if there is this invisible “censor-board” sitting inside him, flaring the “red signal” the moment any negative emotion dares to cross the threshold of his mind!

I remember now, that’s exactly how it used to be with me too – this little “inner voice” kept telling me it’s “WRONG” to feel hurt or scared or angry! And I kept blocking my emotions – I didn’t have any other choice did I?

But, the fact is that you can’t fool yourself into constant happiness… you can’t “pretend” that you are always happy, just by constantly “blocking” all the other emotions! You have to feel everything else too! You need to control your reactions to your emotions, but you can’t subject your feelings to validation – you can’t be judgmental about what you’re feeling! Your feelings are ALWAYS RIGHT!

I remember, if I felt hurt about something, I would simply avert my eyes for a fraction of a second (normally I talk eye-to-eye with anyone) while the “internal censor-board” did whatever it used to do… and then I would be my usual self again! And the feeling would be successfully blocked – I would just never get around to feeling the hurt completely!

I’ve heard this from other people too – that they are not able to express their feelings when they are hurt or sad, but, frankly speaking, I couldn’t really “relate” to it at that time. I think maybe all elder siblings have this tendency to “block” their “supposedly-unacceptable” feelings… thinking that they are just being “in control”… but there is a major difference between “controlling” and “blocking”.

There was this incident in Guwahati when Rishu was scolded for screaming when he was scared, because “his act would create fear in Radhika’s mind too, as she always copies what he does”! Now how would this statement help in any way, in alleviating his fears? The only purpose it would serve is to plant in his mind that “he can never let his fears show”!

(I’ve also always been haunted by this one particular memory when I was being scolded in the zoo, because I wouldn’t ride the elephant ‘coz I was scared of it, and so my sister wouldn’t get on it too!)

Well, blame it on improper conditioning, or simply accept it as practical lessons you need to learn in this birth… the fact remains that until and unless we free ourselves from such emotional traps, we can never be totally free of our diseases and whatever other problems we may have in life.

Feelings are body’s ways of communicating with us… and, as such, they are meant to be experienced, acknowledged, thanked and then allowed to go. If you keep validating them and blocking them, you are simply “archiving” them in your system.

It’s like those hundreds of emails sitting in your inbox that you haven’t bothered to “deal with”! Process, delete - do whatever is required… but unless you tackle them “head-on”, you won’t get rid of them. They’ll remain sitting in your inbox forever, unnecessarily using up the server space!

Sorting through years of “archived crap” requires a lot of patience and determination, but you can never be really free and light until you get around to doing this. Emotional freedom is an essential requisite for any kind of real healing. And until you free yourself from your emotions, you can never lead a perfectly normal life… no matter how well you manage to fool yourself into believing that you ARE perfectly normal!

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2 comments:

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

But what does it mean, 'dealing' with one's emotions? Expressing them? Or letting oneself feel them and letting them wash over and consume oneself till you one is done feeling crappy? What do you do?

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

I'm still trying to figure that one out, dude. I'm as lost as you are! :(

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