What if you were only allowed 3 emotions?
Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Yes. Let every sensation we experience course through our veins, explode into our brains, and erupt back into the world in a wild, visceral expression of the journey that sensation took in us. Why not?
Why not howl in the early morning and late at night? Why not expose ourselves to all the intensity and highs and lows of what this life has to offer? Why throttle ourselves and be “good” and obey rules and enforce the same in our kids as we model the “right” way?
If we can nurture love in our hearts and model kindness, shouldn't we also be allowed to run wild? Shouldn’t we allow ourselves to break the mold of expectation and obligation, and let loose, and see who we might become when we stop second guessing our reactions and doubting our ability to express ourselves?
We have whittled down our ability to express ourselves freely, regularly. We’ve carved our ability to feel from our routine, and in doing so, we've diminished our ability to feel at all, we've damaged our sensory receptors, we've lost touch with ourselves and with each other.
If we can reconnect to our feelings, if we can practice freedom of expression, we can enrich our reception of sensation and our how we respond and open ourselves up to greater intensity and diversity of feeling.
Did you know the average American uses three words to describe how they feel: happy, sad, and pissed off. We have to do better than that.
We have to make room for each other to feel more than three emotions, to express more accurately what this world does to us and how it inspires us to respond.
What about joy, ecstasy, delight? What about devastation and longing and grief? What about desire? Nervousness, confidence, fear? If we only have access to three words to describe how we feel, can we ever really feel like ourselves? Or are we constantly living life through an out-of-body experience?
If we are always throttling the real sensations, the real energy the world has gifted us, if we are always making our feelings fit into a box we've deemed acceptable, a box we've decided works for everyone, if we are only allowing ourselves to feel a feeling that won't rock the boat or cause any discomfort, are we really living life?
If we can express ourselves with love and kindness at the root of it all, I think we could make space for each other to feel more. If we could all stomach a little discomfort and be patient enough to work through it together by feeling more than three emotions, we might begin to feel more, and feel more like ourselves.