One of the incredible things about this human condition is our ability to feel things. We are the only creatures that not only feel, but can comprehend and express a full range of emotions. We are also the only species that can conceal what it is feeling from others and give the impression of feeling something else altogether.
There is no limit to the range of emotions and variances on them. We can also feel deeply conflicting emotions, at times simultaneously. We can be in the deepest sadness yet still find joy in the actions of a small child for example.
The question I have been pondering today is if there is a limit to what our spirit, or soul can feel before it almost goes into a preservation mode and stops all feeling. A stoppage that means no matter how much you focus on a thought or feeling, you just feel nothing. Even numb does not adequately explain it. It’s interesting to note that this protection mode only cuts in during times of intense pain. Our souls are happy to let us experience as much joy & happiness as we can stuff into our little hearts. But when it comes to painful emotions that rip us apart from our very core, we are able to protect ourselves.
Your situation hasn’t changed, the events in your life that caused the particular feelings haven’t altered yet you feel nothing. An emptiness envelopes you. What does it mean?
Is it resignation to the facts? Is it a realisation that there is nothing to fight for anymore? Does it mean you give up? Does it mean you simply don’t care? Or is this just your way of taking an enforced timeout so you can recharge before plunging into the depths of pain again if the situation has yet to be resolved.
Is this similar to the ‘eye of the storm’ in a cyclone? A respite from the onslaught so you can check essentials and brace yourself for the inevitable resumption of that searing storm that tears at you from within. And just like the storm you don’t dare venture outside yourself in this time because you’re not sure when the next wave will hit.
Is this time designed to give us clarity and perspective and an ability to make a decision whilst not clouded by the dense fog of emotions?
Maybe. I’m not sure. I have to say however that the feeling of feeling nothing is quite frightening. It is confusing and leads to more questions. Nagging doubts or issues you have overlooked resurface. Forgotten conversations reappear to give new context to the issue. I don’t want to not feel. I don’t want to not care about what is going on. Yes I would love to stop the searing burning storm of pain that has ripped through my life, but I don’t want to give up and not be present in my own life.
I wonder if this time is designed to help us survive moments of intense pain. Obviously periods of prolonged stress and unhappiness are not healthy. My mind is cast to friends who have decided to take their own lives as a result of their inner pain. I wonder if they ever felt this respite from the storm before making that decision. Or did the empty space lead them to become resigned to the situation and decide they had no other options. Unfortunately we’ll never know.
The human mind is such a dynamic and complex space in which to reside. I know mine is filled with a million unexplored spaces and some well-trodden paths. It is very dark and cold at times but at others it is alive and dynamic, neurons firing at a rapid rate to move life forward.
I don’t have any answers. I just know I am don't like the empty space. And I’m scared of the fury of the storm returning.