Tag Archives: feeling

The Art of Being You

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Your lucky enough to be different, never change

I used to take art lessons as a child and stopped in my early teenage years.  The result of my 2 to 3 years of lessons was a public exhibition of what I created at the most advanced stage of my learning.  I am now in awe of my oil paintings which are hung beautifully in my Cleveland home. I pride myself on calling myself an artist: I used to paint, I write, and I sing (in the bathroom).

Is it just me or does the title artist have a cool ring to it? We generally refer to someone as an ‘artist’ when they know how to create of something, when someone has a skill to do something that requires a bit of imagination. I think everyone is an artist in their own right. At an early age we learn to mask our emotions, hide behind our feelings, and plug our sentiments for propriety.  In tandem we learn to fake our smiles, make sham emotions, and invent reactions to please others.

There always seem to be those moments where showing our real emotion is inappropriate, but have we faked ourselves into feeling something we do not? If there is a need to hide our emotions for propriety, do we know when we needn’t hide our emotion? Culturally people have mastered the art of being themselves by becoming situation chameleons.

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Labels are for filing. Labels are for clothing. Labels are not for people.

The beauty of art is that we can manipulate the canvas, notes, or words to elicit the emotion that we want.  Essentially when an artist constructs, composes, or otherwise forms a creation they have the liberty to build and rebuild based on their mood and the mood they hope to elicit. How is this different from what we do on a daily basis?

Our faces have become a canvas on which we paint smiles, tears, creases of concern, and frowns based on propriety, pleasing others, or for leverage.  It seems as though we have for so long become attuned to masking our emotions and hiding our true feelings that  now we are grasp at moments that will allow us to feel a trickle of genuine emotion.

I have learned not to cry even when my heart strings are pulled. I have learned to smile even if I am sad.  There is a Jamaican quote that is applicable, ‘we laugh to hide our tears.’ This sounds like a sentimental exaggeration, but unfortunately it is true.

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Most people just want to see you fall, that’s more reason to stand tall.

For so long we have disguised our feelings into something  more appropriate and pleasing that I wonder if we can recognize and cope with our raw emotion.  Our ability to express our emotions seems constrained at best and our need to feel passionate about anything is inadequate at best.  When I was young I started to write poetry and  was able to I retain my interest until my college years, and this helped me stay attuned to my emotions, but as we combat adulthood the stings of emotional attunement become looser.  Work, family, and sense of propriety all combine to form a semipermeable barrier between our emotions and exhibition of them.

There are indeed times when are unable to portray what we are really feeling, but we have allowed these times to reign over and decide how and when to show emotion.  As an exercise I invite you spend 5 minutes everyday feeling your emotion.  Cry out your tears, laugh out your smiles, and scream out your frustration.

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Go ahead and be ordinary. Eccentricity is extraordinary.

When we can truly feel ourselves our person hood no longer has to be an art.  Our emotions represent our natural bodies.  Over the years we have been taught to shy away from our emotions and instead rationalize, analyze, or mask our feelings away.  This exercise serves as a catharsis and let’s us feel a raw emotion that we have forgotten how to feel over the years.

I impel you to stop camouflaging what makes you unique and start coloring your emotions again with vibrant hues.  If we can live and feel our true emotions for a few minutes each day, we will become more attuned to our core and start to understand and thereby grow from our insecurities, sadness, and hesitations.

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Mental abuse

Mental Abuse
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Mental Abuse

The strangling effects of abuse

Many people are subject to abuse on a daily basis, and many of us are subject to it from an early age. Although the effects of abuse never become less injurious, we do get accustomed to being abused. In childhood when we get poked fun of by other children the scars can reach deep. Belittling comments that are commonplace such as ‘you are fat’ or ‘you are stupid’ may be more or less harmful to a child depending on the self esteem that has been instilled in the child: the stability and security that has been provided to the child, and how often the child is put down.

Generally abuse is learned to be tolerated at an early age. Even if we are not subject to the belittling comments repetedly from others into adulthood, the comment is learned and if we are not provided the stability and security or given enough leverage to develop our self esteem and self confidence the comment is turned into a negative affirmation. So in essence we start abusing ourselves.

Once we start internalizing the negative judgments, disparaging comments, and demeaning actions of others towards us, the abuse begins. A person can be bullied, humiliated, severely tortured for his characteristic {being fat or poor}, his past {decisions or background}, or his beliefs {same sex marriage),and once we internalize and start repeating to ourselves the negative comments of others the destructive aspect of abuse set in.

One can claim sympathy from others and themselves when they succumb to saying they are a victim of abuse. Yes, abuse does exist; yes, there are perpetrators of abuse, but the facilitator that converts the abuse (n) into abusive and debilitating (adj) is the individual receiving the abuse.

When we say or even think that we are victims, we weaken our selves. In the society in which we live there will always be an oppressor and the oppressed; it is the oppressed that defines the cruelty of the oppression.

Let me give you an example, when I was in college (20) I was verbally abuseed by a group of ‘cool kids’; they made fun of the way I walked and called me mean names; although this hurt my dignity and although I did cry I did not let this abuse become abusive. How? Had I ruminated on the nasty names I was called or started feeling sorry for myself due to my walking ability, I would have given them the power to define me and subjugated myself to them and their abuse, instead I got angry, set up meeting with the dean, and forgot about it.

Once we call ourselves victims, once we allow ourselves to consider a demeaning remark someone else says about us: we become abused. All throughout high school I was made fun of for the way I walked and although it did hurt, although I would cry etc. etc. I never let it become abuse by knowing these were ignorant comments. Now I can also say that these comments were more harmful to the commenter’s rather than me.

 

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