The word emotion has such a stigma attached to it. Like some kind of virus people are terrified of catching.
The subject of public display of emotion has been a hot subject in my life lately. I keep interacting with people, including myself, who are plagued with the belief that showing emotion is equated with being weak. When did the degree of emotional vulnerability one is capable of become the barometer of strength?
I had someone say to me recently, you know that as you grow into your role as a coach you will have to learn to not show any emotion related to any challenges you may be facing? When did being in a position of helping others (which, hate to break it to you folks, but we all are called to do in many ways every day) declare one immune to challenges? You are never done (oh Abraham, how wise you are) and if you were, you’d be dead. You will meet challenges and opportunities for expansion as you move along your merry, or not so merry life. Rather than save face as if there is nothing going on, and put on a strong facade, why not show other humans, like you, that life is not without challenges but look how strong you are by way of how you meet these challenges? Why continue to add to the earthly plague of separateness by acting as if there is nothing that one would call a challenge in your life? Do you not see that you only create more separateness from the people you so much want to be loved by? Remember the “precovery strategy”?, there will always be an opportunity for you to expand, it’s your strategy for how you meet these opportunities that makes the difference. I would never teach someone that I work with to ignore negative emotion. Negative emotion is there to serve you, it is like a traffic sign, a siren, a bell. It’s there to call your attention, to alert you, to guide you. Instead, I would teach awareness, perspective shifting, state management. I would never say, my life is always, all roses. I would say, there are some interesting challenges right now, which also bring opportunities. I would also say, but there’s all this great stuff in my life as well. What better example can you set? What better than to experience yourself and have others experience you as a person who meets life in all of its obvious and not so obvious blessings as a human being putting all of their potential in action in all sorts of circumstances. Not having any challenges is not what makes you strong, or a hero, it’s how you live life that displays who you are. How do you want to experience yourself living your now?
The people I have the most respect for are those that I feel are human because they too have ridden a couple of rough waves. Watching them in action is what inspires me. Seeing, feeling, hearing their openness allows me to relate to them and find similar resources within myself. These, real authentic people, who have the virus we call emotion makes me love them, truly love them, because they are human like me. I feel more connected with you when you are real, because that is when you are shining. And watching you shine, helps others remember their own light.
There’s a crack, a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in. ~Leonard Cohen
The next time you resist showing emotion in public, remember that there may be people sitting across from you who may have held back the same feelings because they were afraid to be vulnerable. Remember that they felt cut off from connection to Source from cutting themselves off from experiencing themselves in all of their humaness. Give yourself the gift of being human, and in so doing, you give others the same permission. Each time that you do that, you are contributing to the ripple effect of re-connection worldwide. This ripple that can spread like a virus. And isn’t it such a wonderful thing to spread, the experience of being beautifully human.