I watched a cartoon the other day which surprisingly got me thinking and even more so wanting to write about it. The film was called Inside Out and was about our emotions.
I am learning to become aware of my own emotions at work in emotional support and the non-violent communication practices. And so I started noticing the frustration inside me when I saw one of the film characters named Joy being overly cheerful and trying to get rid of the other character called Sadness. They just couldn’t stay in one room.
This resembles what keeps happening in reality when we do whatever it takes to push any traces of sadness away, by incessantly adding superficial layers of created happiness. We may find ourselves in the midst of a busy lifestyle surrounded by activities of high intensity, so that we don’t need to feel what’s uncomfortable.
Like any emotion, sadness is important and cannot be ignored, or else we’re off downhill towards the gooey swamp of problems. It’s like a knot that gets tightened every time we put an effort to avoid an emotion. We end up at a stage where it hurts badly and the knots seem impossible to undo. All that just because we keep dodging that which is already happening – our emotions and feelings.
The concept of this cartoon seemed quite deep. It brought about a realisation that emotions are not there to be prioritized and are all equally important. By the end of the film Joy the character got finally convinced that she cannot steer the wheel all by herself. She realised that Sadness has an element of genuine depth which she completely lacks, and that they can actually learn how to work together as a team.
As part of our holistic organism, joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust, are there to be felt with open heart and acceptance. Emotions are designed to support us, elate us, protect us or bring more depth into our lives.
And I asked myself: Which emotion do I neglect most?
The answer was anger. I found myself completely incapable of feeling it. As soon as a situation arises my anger gets immediately hidden in depths of my mind and no one ever gets to know anything about it. I’ve made myself successful in hiding my anger and simultaneously made myself incapable of taking action when it is needed most. That was a powerful realisation that’s still helping me discover new ways to communicate and function in life.
What about you? Which emotion do you neglect most?