Wearing your heart on your sleeve


I recently wrote about my childhood experiences. I realized that at a young age I already liked to repress emotion. I also did not like other people seeing me emotional. When pushed to my limits I do have an “I know longer have a conscience switch”, all emotional hell breaks lose…I’m thankfully very much in control of that switch now! I don’t mind showing mild irritability or caring; as long as I’m feeling in control. I don’t want to get into debates about things that are important to me because I don’t like losing my cool. I’ve felt quite emotionless for the past few years. I do occasionally have a cry about a sad movie or book. PMS – I suffer from major PMS, and those are the days I feel emotional; this almost doesn’t count as I get emotional about the most absurd things. I have had very little conflict situations causing me to show emotion. I hate confrontation! I would prefer to change myself than get into a conflict situation. Why…? Maybe I don’t want people to reject or dislike me when I confront them? It could be that I don’t like seeing myself as a source of conflict.

I can’t stand the image of me being emotional in my head. I struggle to say the L word. I have to force myself to say “Lots of love”. I struggle to even jokingly say “I love you”. Wearing my heart on my sleeve is absolutely horrible.

The other day I saw “Wear your heart on your sleeve” written on a chalk board. I read it out loud and commented how dangerous it was to do that. There are a lot of manipulative people out there. The minute you start wearing your heart on your sleeve, people become more aware of how to get what they want from you. There are also a lot of emotionally frozen people who feel very uncomfortable when others are doing the whole emotionally open thing. When people start getting emotional, it’s like this thick over bearing presence emanates from them. It’s a hard space to be in.

So why would anyone want to wear their heart on their sleeve?

1) It’s tiring to constantly assess the situation and react without emotion. To do that, you need to lie to yourself so that you can act the part – over time this starts to numb you inside. You won’t know what you are feeling or how to feel in the end.

2) For those of us that won’t show emotion to anyone – even with friends and family, it is almost impossible to have meaningful relationships without opening up. Yes, two people that are equally closed off can enjoy each other’s company over a long period time (if they are very similar and naturally docile people).

3) You may just become a narcissist(I’m obsessed with this topic for now) – what is a narc? For me, this is someone that no longer feels inside. They use the image they have of themselves  to interact with their environment. Since they are not really focusing on other people. They just obsess about themselves.

4) “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” (Sigmund Freud).

For people that naturally live in touch with their emotion, I assume it’s still difficult to communicate emotion in their relationships. It is impossibly difficult for someone that isn’t used to doing this to do so!

First you would have to admit to yourself you are feeling that emotion, then you have come to terms with this and silence all the doubts that you are in fact feeling this emotion. It is the worst feeling to be the first to take down your shield and open your heart. You feel so vulnerable. I would equate it to dangling off the edge of a cliff. Or having a room full of secrets and having the walls become glass. Playing poker with your cards visible. You feel naked. Maybe taking down your shield is not the right analogy for the expression of anger? I don’t know much about fighting but you probably need to pull your shield back in order to use a sword effectively.

If you can open up even a little – a milestone has been reached. It’s a huge thing to have been able to open up and reveal something about yourself and make yourself vulnerable. And yes, initially it feels as if you are dangling off a cliff, but you jump and that feeling of free falling suddenly feels freeing. Then you realise your heart is in fact attached to your body and this attachment pulls you back into your body, safe on land. I lie…it will still feel like you are free falling, I’m not sure if that feeling goes away, but at least you feel free.

Then the wait for the reaction. Yes, the reaction can be negative or even none at all. No reaction could mean you didn’t really open up enough or the other person(s) is also emotionally closed off. But at least once you have opened up, there can be honest communication and energy flowing – a solution may be reached. Maybe you move closer. Maybe you move apart (and moving apart will be based on something more than assumptions). But at least there is the now possibility of moving closer.

Writing is about being transparent and honest, if this isn’t done, it’s hard for people to connect to you. One of the first obstacles writers need to get over is becoming comfortable with letting people see into their mind. Once you publish your writing, it’s the worst feeling – how will people react to it? Worse – will they even react? It’s fine when you are writing anonymously on a blog, but if you want to publish content to people you know – you end up feeling very vulnerable. You’re not only opening up to one person – you are opening up to many people.

Writing on the things that need to be written about can bring out a torrent of emotions in people that don’t even know you. It’s a scary thought. I’m not a perfect human being.  A lot of my views are twisted. Still, those views need to be expressed so that less twisted people can read them and correct my thinking. When my writings are spot on – I would hope to correct other peoples thinking. This is all very idealistic and it doesn’t always work this way. That’s fine.

So, here’s to wearing my heart on “paper”!

#DigiWriMo , #Day6


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