last year in august after i turned 30, i started penning a 'thinking, feeling' post about why i went travelling in the first place, and how i thought i was changing. it came out in floods under many pressure points, but i guess i got scared to post it publicly. today I re-discovered it in my drafts folder, and perhaps because these points are fresh again after meditation, i'm going to press the publish button.
delving into emotions...
part of the reason I went travelling was to, well, open myself up to myself (so to speak). these thoughts start delving into what i've discovered so far - it's not meant to clean spiderwebs out of the dark closet of my mind, or to attempt to resolve anything, but simply relay how travel is challenging me and what I spend time thinking about.
over the last 30 years I've been learning behaviours and training myself to act in certain ways - they've made me a strong person, but unfortunately a little closed off to my own and other people's emotions. I know that I shut down negative feelings and I actually remember training myself as a teenager to make my mind override what I felt. I definitely didn't want to feel any hurt, and in doing so I think I had a lot of difficulty in empathising with others in areas of hurt - I could sympathise (and in doing so put myself on a seperate, 'higher' level), but not put myself in their shoes and truly empathise with them.
regularly meeting new, different kinds of people (essentially introducing myself so often) while travelling has shown me certain patterns of how I behave - and especially how I react to different people, and how i consciously and unconscious use language and action to impact how I relate with others and how they act towards me. Coupled with time and conscious effort to reflect, I've started to explore what these feelings and impacts actually are. I've not come close yet to truly empathising, and am only just starting to stop myself from saying something or acting in a manner that may cause hurt when I don't intend it. the meditation has now given me a technique to recognise some of these blind reactions, and also the space and thought to stall, and reconsider my response.
Last week (well the week before 28 August 2011) I chanced upon a TED talk by Brene Brown on vulnerability - it's a funny and poignant 8 mins on opening up to vulnerability - linked again to these negative feelings I like to control. It got me thinking about control - perhaps my love of control is to mask my vulnerabilities? these areas of emotions that i've walled up. it seems obvious when spelled out, but in practice it's a challenge for me to see when I have actually let things through... what does a real, true emotion feel like? when have I not let my over active, rational mind flip it from a negative to a positive?
i think i've opened a sort of floodgates of sorts - I've already started writing on other topics that my mind is twirling around but before I flood myself and anyone reading this - I think I had better stop, take stock and let things sit.