Being in charge of your own emotions, in my view, is by far the most foolish assumption a human being can ever make. As far as I’m concerned, merely acknowledging them is already a massive achievement. I myself have gone a long way to be able to do that. Oftentimes I still fail, but I try.
All the numerous times I’ve been told: “Don’t be sad”, “Don’t be scared”, “Don’t get so excited” have caused more resentment than provided relief. It almost felt like being instructed “Don’t be yourself”. Ashamedly, I fell for that trap.
Very recently I have been introduced into the concept of disembodiment. I haven’t done any research into it, so I am only offering my own personal interpretation of it here, but in many ways this concept came as a long awaited explanation. An answer of a sort.
The idea of dis-embodiment, i.e. dis-connecting from your own body because being aware of it causes discomfort, rings true to me. The way we lead our lives these days is the most appropriate example of it.
We deny our bodies the opportunity to feel because it’s inconvenient to be experiencing all sorts of sensations, very possibly followed by emotions, on daily basis. We shut our bodies down, so we would not have to deal with the distress that it might cause for the sensations and emotions we experience might not always be pleasant. And who needs the headache of having to deal with that when you are expected to focus on clearly defined tasks everyday, rather than immersing yourself in the world of your own e-motions.
I write e-motions with a dash ‘cuz for me it seems that they are precisely that – the fluctuating electronic motions that run through my body without me having any control over them. The absurdity of it all lies in the fact that by shutting down the “bad” feelings, we also prevent ourselves from feeling the “good” ones. Following this train of thought, it would seem to me that the inability to feel truly happy might just be the consequence of never allowing yourself to be truly sad.
The idea of the mind-body duality is not a new thing. From what I gather, it was with the rise of philosophy that our bodies became somewhat looked down upon as if they were mechanical machines. They are expected to perform strictly defined tasks under the dominant constrain of our mind and not the other way around. Within the restrictions of our daily routine, very rarely, our mind responds to our body needs. Except, of course, at those times when we shut our mind down by the use of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicating substances, and then the e-motions run wild making body respond to its cravings.
As a smoker myself, I understand and acknowledge, that I am very much guilty of adding towards the conflict of my own mind competing with my own body. The number of times I have shut my senses down with the overdose of coffees and stayed up when my body demanded sleep or stuffed my belly with chocolate in order to make myself “happy”, or in other ridiculous ways tried to silence my own body cravings, is countless. The number of times that I smiled when my insides were turning upside down, has probably also added to the process of disembodiment. I have become my own culprit.
Nowadays I mostly feel numb. But there are those blissful moments when I lay on the grass and watch the passing clouds. That’s when I feel. And it’s priceless. Let them be baby-steps towards claiming the right to my own body back, but they are steps in the right direction.