I feel like a constant student of emotions and the force they can have over a persons actions, beliefs, memories and even their body. In my line of work, I have had to readjust and relearn what I thought I knew about how powerful feelings were, over and over again.
I see it all the time: birth, what should be a completely physical process, gets completely derailed by a mental or emotional roadblock. Memory of a past trauma, sex abuse, assault, insecurity or self doubt. Fear can turn what should be a perfectly normal birth, into a train wreck in the time it takes to have two contractions. It's amazing. It's almost scary.
We are taught to control our emotions. To manage them. Almost compartmentalize them to the point that you have to wonder if they're even being properly expressed and allowed at all. Emotions mean something, right? They have to if they can be so powerful and definitive. I just cant buy the idea that they are totally irrational and meaningless. Everyone says listen to your heart, and in the same breath they say control your emotions.
Feelings can pull you dangerous directions though. Temptation is a scary and seductive beast who knows exactly how to get you to do what it says. I know plenty about temptation. It has decided so much in my life, you could say we have an intimate relationship. Temptation uses memory to fuck me over, almost every time. Just when I think I am at my strongest, at my most secure and happy and stable, that long, bony hand of memory reaches forth through the fog of passing time and grips my shoulder. Pulling me in, it beckons "Remember.....Remember...." and I end up right back where I swore I would never go again.
So what do you do? Control your emotions, manage and compartmentalize them until they almost don't exist? Or follow your heart, wherever it tells you to go? Allow emotions to flow forth freely and express them in order to be....clean. Light and weightless, unburdened by the terrible weight of everything trapped inside? Where is the balance between expression and release, and a reckless devotion to your ever changing feelings and emotions?
"The forest is lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep...." -Robert Frost