Before you read too much into that statement, no, I don’t mean that you need to put on your dancing shoes and ask your demons to break a leg on the dance floor. It would be pretty cool to watch, though. But no, this isn’t a sci-fi movie. Instead, what I mean by this is more like Inside Out. Makes sense? No? Okay, let me explain.
I’m pretty sure everyone has at least once heard the phrase- oh, don’t be sad. Don’t cry. Don’t be angry. Don’t lose hope. And the likes of them, haven’t we? Do you know what that leads to for most of us? Bottling up emotions and putting a façade in front of everyone. We end up learning to keep our negative emotions private; some of us even end up resenting ourselves for having negative emotions for too long. To look perfect on the surface, we end up decaying our insides- slowly, one emotion at a time. We hold on to them and don’t let anyone have the tiniest clue that things aren’t as pretty. We slap happy emotions like filters on our faces, hide our true selves with the contours of society’s acceptance and walk on the streets with the poise of a Bollywood lead at the climax. While this appears the perfect form of ‘being okay’, it is not, not even close!
Negative and positive emotions are like the two sides of the coin; it’s like the two parts of our brain, it’s like day and night- they both exist and need to exist in equilibrium. If the tables were turned, would you suppress the positive emotions just because society told you, you seem too happy? I doubt. Then why be scared of exhibiting your negative emotions. Because if we are honest, most of us, are just drawing our attention away from them and calling it overcoming them. Society feeds our brains so well, that as we grow up, we sometimes struggle to exhibit negative emotions to ourselves- we end up calling ourselves weak for it. And that’s where I feel the problem lies.
What’s the harm in saying you are not okay! Why hide? Why wear a mask? Why look away? Why not accept that things aren’t perfect at times, and it sucks. That we all get angry at times, and sometimes it hurts. Why not look in the mirror and express your dark side, share what you truly feel and then caress yourself with- “I’m proud of you and it’ll be okay.” The problem lies in not seeing your emotions eye-to-eye. So, what they are ‘negative’, they are still yours. See them, listen to them, accept them and then transition them to however you want them to be. The problem doesn’t lie in having negativity brewing in you, the problem is denying its existence. Not asking you to make sadness, anger, or their friends a permanent resident in your brain, but before you kill your demons at least know them.
Take time to express them, address them, and then show them their way. If you don’t acknowledge their existence they will keep creeping from the backdoor and windows, so, why not let them in, hear them out and then pirouette them away!