My attempt at metaphoric description of emotions

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voicelessagony2

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My attempt at metaphoric description of emotions
« on: December 16, 2014, 07:44:41 PM »
I found this yesterday on a notepad I forgot about. I wanted to share it with you guys but I talked myself out of it, as usual... so here goes...

There is a deep dark place where we keep our trauma. We keep this place hidden from the world in order to be accepted by others.

We may think we are controlling our emotions when we refuse to cry, or when we pretend everything is OK when we actually feel resentment, rage, and grief. But that is not controlling the emotion, it is only controlling our facial expression, our logical thought process, our body language, etc. Emotions may be repressed, but they cannot be truly controlled.

Use your imagination to visualize the place where you stuff your emotions when they get out of control. Picture them as misbehaving, destructive teenagers named Anger, Pain, Resentment, and Grief.  They like to have wild parties. The kind of parties that would get the cops called if it were happening in real life. They are smashing up the place, stomping on your kidneys, upsetting your stomach, poking at your heart. So what is your response? Like many parents, send them to their room and lock the door. There. Situation under control, you think. But what do you think they do in there behind that locked door? Just like some spoiled rotten teenagers, they are not suffering in silence, nor are they mending their ways. They have a command headquarters in there that would make the CIA jealous. They have food, drinks, and complete control of everything you see, think, and do.

Only when we recognize our emotions, honor them by calling them by name, honor the fact that they have a reason for existing, only when they are allowed to exist, then they will slowly begin to trust you, and loosen their death grip on your soul.

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alovelycreature

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Re: My attempt at metaphoric description of emotions
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2014, 12:39:10 AM »
Wow, good metaphor!  :yeahthat: For some reason the image of a parent locking their child in the bedroom made me think about how I felt as a teenager. It's definitely "easier" to just hide things under the rug, in the closet, in the dark part of our minds, but it doesn't mean it's not there. Is this something we were taught to do? Or something we figured out that helped at the time?

Overall, it felt like abandonment, but then at the end there was the light at the end of the tunnel. The light that might not have been there a long time ago, but it's there now :)

Re: My attempt at metaphoric description of emotions
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2014, 08:19:48 AM »
Very thought-provoking and spot-on. No, that's the wrong way of putting it. This is better: it fits all those things I suspect I should keep in mind, the things I want to know, not the things I actually end up doing most of the time...

But it's a REALLY good metaphor. It helps me think. There's this book by a guy called David Richo, "Shadow Dance", where he talks about the qualities and things we push into our negative shadow. His basic point was like yours. Things we push into the dark and forget about don't cease to exist - they take on more and more extreme and negative qualities, like courtiers whose interests are too often denied by the king. I prefer your metaphor, though. "Courtiers" feels distanced and clinical. "Teenagers" feels closer.

It's fitting, too. Those emotions come from a time when I was young, so they have a much younger mental age than the rest of me. They're certainly teenage-like: just as likely to door-slam their way into their room and then sit there and sulk and listen to The Cure and refuse to come out, and just as likely to fling themselves into an impressive tantrum where ALL THE FEELINGS IN THE WORLD need to be expressed all at once, to h*ll with the consequences. So much bravado, so much vulnerability, all mixed up together.

So if negative emotions = teenagers... it makes it easier for me to remember
--to respect those feelings and honour them, and listen to their message closely instead of jumping to knee-jerk conclusions.
--to keep in mind that teenagers get to act like they're in an Italian Opera: overreacting, lashing out, flinging themselves into huge sulks. I'm the grown-up, I've got to keep a cool(er) head, otherwise I can't take care of them.
--to remember that they need a very parental kind of understanding and validation.

Hm, all a very long way of saying "good post, I like it". Whoops?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 08:23:04 AM by schrödinger's cat »

Re: My attempt at metaphoric description of emotions
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2014, 08:45:23 AM »
For some reason the image of a parent locking their child in the bedroom made me think about how I felt as a teenager. It's definitely "easier" to just hide things under the rug, in the closet, in the dark part of our minds, but it doesn't mean it's not there. Is this something we were taught to do? Or something we figured out that helped at the time?

Both? After all, grown-ups don't have to actively teach a kid something. Kids just copy what they see in their parents and peers. They don't always copy our actions, but I think they copy our underlying attitude. Even if they don't adopt it, even if they disagree, it's still in there, a bit like Moses' stone tablets. They want to act and speak and think in a way that will make us treat them with pride and love. A bit like Pavlov's dogs?

Sorry, I do realize your question was rhetorical and you know all that already, I was just figuring out the answer for myself...
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 08:48:54 AM by schrödinger's cat »

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alovelycreature

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Re: My attempt at metaphoric description of emotions
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2014, 02:16:17 PM »
Haha, no Cat it's totally fine. I liked that the metaphor was thought provoking. It laid out what was going on, but there was still so many questions. I also liked the shadow metaphor. I very much enjoy metaphors because sometimes there aren't words for our experience, and metaphors can describe feelings, situations, etc. Also I like the visuals they provide. It's funny how we can sometimes grow a deeper understanding because of them :).


Re: My attempt at metaphoric description of emotions
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2014, 02:20:59 PM »
I wanted to share it with you guys but I talked myself out of it, as usual... so here goes...

Do you have other stuff you talked yourself out of? Picture me propping my chin on my elbow and giving you a very expectant look. Yes? Pleeeease?

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voicelessagony2

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Re: My attempt at metaphoric description of emotions
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2014, 06:59:14 PM »
Thanks guys... LOL, no I don't have anything else right now. I never know when inspiration will strike like that. It's not very often.

Re: My attempt at metaphoric description of emotions
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2014, 07:02:33 PM »
Okay. But if inspiration does strike again, we call dibs over your inner critic. Yes? ;D

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voicelessagony2

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Re: My attempt at metaphoric description of emotions
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2014, 07:08:59 PM »
You got it!  :yes:

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marycontrary

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Re: My attempt at metaphoric description of emotions
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2015, 11:45:35 AM »
Thanks...this was REALLY good.