How are you?

 

Most of the time, when people ask me that, I respond with my reflex obligatory response: “Good thanks and you?” But the reality is that in addition to being somewhat fine and good I am also a complex mixture of various other shades of emotions, which I cannot really explain.

For long periods in my life the subtext would have read something like:

‘I… am… heart broken, and wounded. I am hurt, I am sad, I am angry, I am frustrated, I feel trapped and alone. I would love to talk to someone about it but I don’t know how and I don’t think you would want to be burdened with all that. It’s hard but I always pick up the pieces and put them back together as best I can, and then I have a good cry and I feel a lot better and I try to forgive and make a fresh start and then I feel… good! So yes I’m… “good thanks and you?

I think many of us are like that. We are so used to hiding our feelings, or rather being uncomfortable discussing our emotions, definitely with colleagues in the workplace but even with family and friends. Ladies at least do discuss these kind of personal emotional stuff with close friends but guys hardly ever talk about how they’re really feeling and doing. Guys have to keep it together and maintain the strong masculine personas and meet the expectations on others.

Some reply: “I can’t complain” and others go for the more honest: “I would complain but who would listen?” Sometimes we meet an actual complainer who, the moment they sense that you will actually listen, proceeds to offload all their issues and dramas and while it may seem refreshing to have a real conversation about how someone is doing, the longer it goes on the more you realize that this person is not expressing emotions but rather verbalizing a negative mental pattern, the perpetual victim. Once in a while you may here someone say they are doing: “Fabulous!” and you ask yourself:

‘Really… are you really feeling that good or are you just trying to give the impression that you are fabulous, like all those call centre agents who want us to buy their products. Surely no one is fabulous all the time? What does fabulous even feel like?’

Sometimes it’s true, that on a particular day, or at that moment you may be feeling good, or even really good, but generally speaking it has become a reflex answer to an obligatory question, a mere acknowledgement of each other’s presence. The real question “How are you?” is asking about your state of heart, mind and soul, your emotional well-being, or your state of consciousness. Often it seems like there’s not enough time to really discuss one’s real emotional state, but if you think about it, it is not a question of time, because people find the time to do and talk about many things that interest them, but very few people actually want to know how you really are, or even have the capacity to listen to what’s going on in your life and feel these emotions with you without becoming awkward and disturbed.

We carry it all around anyways, whether we remember or not, whether we acknowledge it or not, whether we discuss it or not, it is with us, all these mixed up feelings and emotions, as some vague nebulous stress that sometimes erupts in emotional implosions or explosions and in cases of chronic repression it will come to consciousness through life experiences, and surface eventually as physical symptoms and illness, which usually gets people to take notice and start making changes. But why wait and waste your life and precious time stuck in negative patterns?

During a typical day, an average person may spend their time as follows:

 

Hours days

 

Many people feel that there’s just never enough time, once you get through all those natural necessities and material obligations you’re not left with much ‘free’ time. Most of our money, energy, and time is already spoken for! Many people’s lives are therefore out of balance because we devote far too much time and energy to what is less important and leave far too little for what is more important, even most important. As a result we feel like ‘zombies’ on autopilot. Very seldom do we feel truly alive, but the scary part is that we’re not really aware of that fact:

 

cosnciousness perc

 

So alot of the time we are unconscious or unaware of what we are thinking and feeling, our attention absorbed in outer experiences. However if we were to consider our mental, emotional, behavioural state during the day, kind of like doing an emotional self audit over a period of a typical month, looking at the times when we are actually aware of what we are thinking and feeling, then we may realise that this most precious time is occupied by the following (which is just a typical example of the % of aware time spent in different emotional and thought states within a typical month):

 

Moods percentages

 

It would obviously vary from person to person, some would perceive that they have more ‘Anger’ and less ‘Loneliness’ or some may have more ‘Stress’ and less ‘Happiness’. The point is that on average many people’s lives are like this. Many of these ‘moods’ are related and so rather than discuss all of them let us look at just the following ones for now which can help us glimpse into the surface anatomy of suffering:

 

Moods timings

 

These feelings and emotions are trying to tell you something about yourself and your life. Your body, brain, heart and psyche are designed this way and by becoming more aware and conscious of these things you can begin to use your emotional guidance system better. But if not, you will add another layer to it, you will feel bad about feeling bad, and afraid of being afraid, and so forth and so forth. But there is a way to be truly happy and we will explore that together as we go along, but first let us look a little more closely at these surface level emotions and what they are telling us.

 

Moods

 

Deeper than the surface level of emotions is the background underlying emotional state so deeply embedded that you cannot even recognize it as an emotion, it is more like the sub stratum of your personality. Parents, family, caregivers, and teachers all of them victims of the same conditioning have reinforced in you these feelings, ideas, or beliefs from a very young age. Many people are traumatized by abuse of various kinds, physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and if this is prolonged and sustained, it creates a warped twisted sense of self, with low self-esteem, low self-worth, inability or difficulty with trusting /connecting with others which all gets mistaken as your personality.

Those who get a very good, positive, loving foundation in their first few years of life, from parents and care-givers will generally have high self-esteem and confidence, but yet they will be able to relate to many of the other shared conditions of our collective existence.

 

background deepr emos

 

I12BF3-Balance Self Assessment TOOL    {Download and try it for yourself}

 

 

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