Have you ever felt strongly about something before, and strangely could not find the words to describe it? No, sad just doesn’t quite cut it. And yet deeply disturbed somehow lacks the emotions that I want to project. What happens when words, a trusty saviour of most events does not rise up to the occasion? What happens when you really need to tell someone how you feel, then you try every single word you know exist and yet, fail to project to the other party what you really, really wanted to say. And unfortunately in real life things are not like a blackboard; you cannot just erase them with a duster and try to start all over again. Therefore they say, choose your words wisely for you can never take them back.
But I digress. We might all have experienced at one time difficulty in self-expression, but what about the other way round? Have you ever had difficulty experiencing a particular emotion, a particular description of feelings?
Have you ever read in a book where the mother laments the death of her only son, and very truly felt her grief? Have you ever seen a movie where the lover was abandoned and felt her deep pain and sorrow? Sure, we all cry watching and reading sob stories, but do we actually feel what they feel? When you finish the story, wipe away the final tear and close the book, does the final expression of the protagonist stay with you throughout the day, or does it evaporate into the dust together with the firm and imperative closure of the novel?
Some people say, “I understand what you’re going through”. I sometimes do that too to make myself seem more empathic to the other person’s situation before going on a rant about how I think they should handle it the situation. I do not know how others take my ‘advice’, although well-intentioned, because I certainly do not agree when others tell me that they understand what I am going through. The reason being no two circumstances are similar, and throw in the mix the very different and unique people and you get a whole different situation.
Therefore in such situations, you can find that the usual rules do not apply for the words that describe the feelings. No, sad for when someone’s father passed away is not the same as the sad someone failing their test. Angry is not the same when one’s husband cheats on them as compared to an angry mother whose son had misbehaved.
What a good counsellor-friend can do for a friend who seems emotional is to find out the true story behind those feelings, before trying to appease those emotions. I should also mention that for people (like me) who prefers to heal privately, perhaps it would be a good idea to sit down in a quiet place and meditate on our feelings and find out the real reason why we are feeling this way. Am I angry that I failed my test, or am I only angry because my friends didn’t seem to care? And sadly we might find that the true reason we are feeling this way is because of a deeper reason that we are trying to avoid admitting, because it hurts way too much than what we are telling ourselves.
Believe me, it hurts more to know that the true reason he left is because he stopped loving, not because of a third party.
I have not reached the part where our hearts actually start recovering and healing, so I shall stop right here at discovering. I don’t know how long it will take, but believe me when I say that I will once again stand up tall.