As if there weren’t enough forces in our country and our world trying to get us to not feel . . .
Ourselves, utilizing our own defenses to keep from feeling pain from long, long ago, as well as pain from today or even experiencing anything today that might trigger the ancient pain.
Other people, who do the same thing to themselves, demeaning, ridiculing, attacking, abandoning us when we do feel. Our families, employers-employees-coworkers. Our doctors, lawyers, teachers, agents, coaches, spiritual representatives.
Alcohol, street drugs, and pharmaceutical drugs and the companies and people who manufacture and sell them. (If we were supported to feel our feelings and had built the capacity to do that, we wouldn’t believe we needed mind altering drugs to numb us against those feelings.) The military that wants its members to be strong and unemotional to the point of giving them propranalol to harden their defenses against the feelings that get stirred up in them by the horrors of war. (If they weren’t hardened against the feelings, they would feel the horror and perhaps we’d finally find an alternative to war!)
Politicians, who appeal to the very emotions, like fear, that we try to bury and hold at bay and then use those feelings they have stirred up to their own advantage. (If we were not afraid of feeling our feelings, and if we were taught to discern which ones are here and now feelings and which are feelings from our childhood that have been triggered by something or someone in the current time . . . we wouldn’t be so needlessly vulnerable to politicians, or anyone using our own vulnerability against us.) Scientific studies that can be skewed to prove anything.
And the media . . . in so many different ways.
Last week, on a well known television show, a show I often appreciate, they did a story on tears.
And not only did the show degrade women’s tears, but at the very end, it degraded men’s tears, too, asking ‘What impact does it have on women when men cry?’ and saying it’s particularly relevant with our ‘weepy’ new Speaker of the House.
Look at this just one example of what we do to each other and ourselves …. Degrading women’s tears and degrading men’s tears. Degrading our vulnerability! Our real vulnerability . . . something I, as a depth psychotherapist, spend many hours, many weeks, many years working to help people rediscover and reclaim!
Look around us ….
People numbing themselves, unable to feel, unable to connect with themselves behind their walls and beneath their masks.
What have we done to our world?
© Judith Barr 2011