Friday, February 5, 2010

Cool or Cranky?

It recently occurred to me that sometimes what is expressed in music -- whether it is happy or sad, enthusiastic or angry, light or dark -- is often more accepted as an expression of truth than if it would be communicated via other means.

This can be expressed non-verbally via instrumental pieces or verbally via lyrics.

The same could be said of poetry.

I think it is because there are many people who are uncomfortable being confronted with these thoughts in other forms. As in, let's say, a face-to-face discussion, or a blog. :)

I often wish that other people would accept the full range of complex human emotions instead of trying to stop people from expressing them. I know that it isn't always appropriate to express every single emotion to everybody whenever one feels like it. However, that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about the need for people to express themselves in safe outlets -- call it poetry, music, sports, whatever. There has got to be an outlet. Otherwise, people will just snap in two.

It's not normal not to express one's thoughts & feelings. At least, not for me. And I won't be stopped, regardless of the potential censure of others.

Unfortunately, American society often tries to regulate or intentionally (or sometimes unintentionally) stunt this expression. There are many Americans who only want to hear when life is good & things are peachy-keen. Furthermore, this behavior makes it difficult for them to embrace definition of what a true & intimate friendship really is, & can only be, at best, mere acquaintances. This is because true intimacy cannot be established with those who hide themselves away & only show the perfectly arranged bits that they want others to see.

Yes, it's important to put your best foot forward, as the expression goes. However, friendship isn't a job interview. True friends will love you no matter what. Warts & all. The sooner a person comes to realize this, the better off that person will be.

We don't have to be loved by everyone, just by those who are truly worth knowing & loving. To have one tried-&-true, loyal friend is better than having 50 fair-weather ones.

But back to what I was saying.... It's one thing to be an optimist, but it's quite another to attempt to enforce "fake happiness" in others. What I mean is that there's this unspoken pressure to only express happy thoughts, i.e., which is felt not just face-to-face but also via social media like Twitter & Facebook. And if you don't play by the rules, usually one of two things happen: You get unfriended or you get unfriendly responses. Sometimes you might get empathy or mirrored expressions, but that is usually rare.

The thing about these types of repressive behaviors is that it is dangerous for a person to attempt to silence others this way. Also, it makes interactions unreal & untruthful, & typically creates a wall between people. The people who try to do this also hurt themselves. Firstly, they are hampering their own inner voices by expressing a very limited range of emotions, & are obviously working extremely hard to stiftle any feelings of their own that don't fit the mold. These are the people who usually end up going postal. :) Instead of being real with others. And they usually repress in others what they most dislike in themselves. Ironically, this can be deadening & numbing to one's spirit & soul, the exact opposite end-result of what they were hoping to produce by "controlling" the thoughts in themselves & others that they do not want to deal with or accept. If they would only give voice to these expressions, it would free them to achieve an equilibrium & peace of mind that comes from self-expression. Balancing one's insides with one's outsides can be a beautiful thing. It just takes an awareness of the complete range of one's thoughts & feelings, & the maturity & wisdom to see the benefits of allowing oneself to give into these impulses in a safe & unguarded manner. That way, they won't end up in an even darker zone that comes from ignoring one's true feelings & a perpetual pushing-down of them. Then one will either implode or explode, depending upon one's personality makeup. And that is rarely a "beautiful thing" to witness. ;)

One cannot force other people to wear a mask of happiness when they are not feeling happy at the moment. As a result, when things are not going well, the tendency is often to keep it all inside & not tell anyone. Either that, or one will just tell a trusted few.

It might sound crazy to say this, but there are a hell of a lot of people who want to only talk to you when you are feeling perfectly happy. I can't hang with these sorts of people for very long, because they will only like & accept me for the parts they like. And they only want to see those parts of me. I can't be 3/4 of a person. Maybe it's easy to keep up the charade with acquaintances, because some people just don't need to know some personal tidbits, but that sort of interaction can never develop into a deeper friendship. That'd just be living a lie, & would also be highly dissatisfying.

I reject this attempt to silence what some people don't want to hear. Frankly, the people who behave like this can all go to hell.

I am sick of constantly having to be guarded about my thoughts & feelings -- which is something I've been raised to do, even though I know that it's wise to do so in a public sphere. But here I can be free.

I will speak my mind, & they can't stop me. Take that, you repressive assholes.

Ah, that feels much better. :)

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