Tuesday, August 16, 2011
"I'm Open": The Beauty of Emotional Vulnerability
Whether we admit it or not, all of us have veils to cover our faces and fortresses around our hearts. Anything that will reveal the depth of our emotions is generally shielded from the piercing eyes of judgmental people, the predatory methods of leeches, and from those people that are looking to us for their guidance and support (we call it a show of strength). With the increasing onset of technology and how it has radically changed the way we communicate, we can easily express our thoughts without unearthing our emotional states. I have heard about breakups that happened via text message and Facebook. On the flip side, sexting has taken the place of raw and intimate conversations, which somehow renders the exchange as fruitless and unsexy. To me, it really can't get any more impersonal as that. Slowly, we're morphing into robots....and, unfortunately, many of us are okay with that.
Can you remember the last time you cried? If you do, will you admit it? Well, I can. It was this past weekend. I cried because I was broke...and I cannot stand being broke, especially when I think I shouldn't be financially strapped. Now, it wasn't one of those cries infused with hysterical sobbing (although I've been capable of a few of those), but rather one of those misty-eyed, six teardrop joints that would have readily indicated to anyone present that I wasn't happy. See, I cried alone -- and I didn't have to tell you that. But I did. It ain't no thang to me. I live in a constant space of Open because being emotionally vulnerable, from time to time, is a survival tactic for me. Through a free release of emotions, I'm able to keep my perspective about things, believe it or not.
It doesn't stop there with crying. My range of emotions can be covered through other forms of expression -- including profanity or cussing, which is, honestly, a personal favorite of mine. :-) Over the years, I tried to appease the traditional posturing when it comes to women and cussing.
"It's unlady-like to cuss."
"Christians shouldn't cuss."
Bullshit. Sometimes, a well placed 'shit' or 'fuck' can relieve the soul of unnecessary tension, leading to correctness in cognitive thinking because your emotions are not all dammed up and affecting that ability anymore. Ok, before I go any further, please understand that I am not talking about some kind of erratic emotional behavior. Besides, that kind of behavior is the result of someone who has tried to do too much 'cool-posing' and worked too hard to control their emotions. Then, they just break down. That's unhealthy. Emotional releases lead to balance, at least, I tend to think so.
Look, Life can do some underhanded things to us. It can unravel the best laid plans, unsuspectingly crush dreams, and mock desires in such a way that we will erroneously believe that things will never get better, or worse, we start thinking that we don't serve any purpose in the world. Our emotions is the gateway to clarity, which is essentially freedom. By actually 'feeling' for just a little while, we can cope better and come to terms with the fact that we may need a better game plan or clean house and confront some things in the Relationship Department.
Emotional releases can also uncover some insecurities we've hidden behind our accomplishments, reveal character flaws or overindulgence in bad habits. Whatever the case, to merely brush the effect off with a wave of nonchalance or faking strength can be dangerous sometimes. Our strength is not in walling up our emotions and putting on a tough face, but rather, it's in the acknowledgement of our hurt, anger, sadness, loneliness, fear, etc. Then, if we have to cry it out or cuss it out, so be it. Once we've dried our noses and the anger has subsided, there is an openness. At first, it may feel odd but embrace it because now you're ready to handle the matter at hand, perhaps in a way of brilliance that you would have never suspected.
Now, what does this have to do with the Love Jones Lifestyle? EVERYTHING. On this journey, we have to bear in mind that it's the Road Less Traveled and while there's fewer people, it's a bumpier road fraught with obstacles, disappointments, unexpected happenings, and broken expectations. You cannot afford to live according to Purpose and think that everything will align itself accordingly. On the contrary, the Status Quo lifestyle promises to be much smoother and easier to navigate because there's a blueprint. With the Love Jones Lifestyle, it's a lot like that compass that Captain Jack Sparrow had in the Pirates movies. Remember? The compass pointed in the direction of what his heart wanted the most -- and then he set sail. A map either didn't exist or it was created with some cryptic code that had to be deciphered. Regardless, there isn't an easy way and no shortcuts. Given those circumstances, it will behoove you to capture those specific times in your life when releasing your emotions are critical. It helps, also, to sob it out with a trusted ally. If there isn't an ally available, cry out to God in the middle of your living room. Go ahead! I do it all the time.
All I'm saying is, in the midst of your beautiful struggle, just remember that you are beautifully human.