On Control

My thanks to Debbie Englemann for inspiring this post, which is about the control we exert over our feelings.

I agree with Debbie that we all need something of an emotional pressure release system, unfortunately I think the pendulum of directed public opinion has swung too far into the camp of “let it all out”.

When we lived in Athens, our only neighbor, who lived directly across the road from us, did exactly that.  She claimed “venting” allowed her to release her pent-up frustrations and helped her feel rejuvenated.  How did she vent?  By making animalistic screams, many of which seemed to be directed straight toward our house.  Her behavior did not improve over the years, which makes me question whether venting helped her.  Indeed, I recently learnt the people who purchased our house have taken out a restraining order against her, so her behavior may well have deteriorated.

This neighbor once informed me our house had “broken the spirit of the land” when it was built.  While you may think saying something like that seems borderline crazy and goes far toward explaining her aberrant behavior, you should also know I believe certain places have powerful auras. {Of course my last statement may well have set the last nail in the coffin of crazy, I am okay with that. :)}

Can you imagine the cacophony if everyone screamed whenever they felt frustrated?  Society does not tolerate that type of behavior for very good reasons, one of which is that when someone screams at you, you have a powerful urge to scream right back at them. Does the vented expression of negative emotion actually help us shed those emotions, or does it exacerbate them?  I think the latter is more true.

To me, control seems better than chaos.  Yes, we need some way to release our frustrations, but that “some way” should not be by dumping them on the people we love the most.  I am as guilty of that behavior as any, and for that I apologize.

I don’t agree with Debbie that our innermost thoughts are electrical discharges. Not even for an instant. In fact I believe humans are almost incapable of random thought. Everything we think is prompted by something we feel. Some of those feelings are physical, but at least as many are emotional. Surely if we examine our feelings we’ll gain a deeper understanding into what makes us tick, and why we behave the way we do?  Perhaps such understanding will allow us to better control ourselves?  While I adamantly resist others attempting to control me, I long for the day I can finally control myself.  I doubt that day will ever come.

Before we think, we feel. We think thought separate from feeling, yet we can feel without thinking, but we can’t think without feeling.

About C.G.Ayling

Musing misuser of words, lover of lyrical literature, author, occasional contrary thoughts. An honorable man’s name, in memoriam.
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