Human emotions are a curious thing. I’m a firm believer that language was developed partially to explain these things that we all “feel” on the inside. Happiness, sadness, anger, loneliness, surprise, discontent, etc. I’m so intrigued by the intangibility of these emotions, yet our ability to convey them and empathize with one another. When someone tells me “I feel sad,” I understand how that feels. I understand what that entails. With a single word, I am suddenly flooded with emotion. It’s astounding, really.
Certain words can definitely trigger emotional responses, but what I find even more fascinating is when words fail me, when I cannot find the words to adequately describe how I feel or why I feel what I’m feeling in that moment.
I am reminded of one of my favorite poems by Shel Silverstein, Colors:
My skin is kind of sort of brownish Pinkish yellowish white. My eyes are grayish blueish green, But I’m told they look orange in the night. My hair is reddish blondish brown, But it’s silver when it’s wet. And all the colors I am inside Have not been invented yet.
Yes, we have come leaps and bounds with communication and are able to discuss the broader concepts of happiness and sadness… but are we really so naive to believe that there is only one kind of joy or one kind of sorrow?
It’s important to recognize that every situation is different and no two emotions are ever the same. The sorrow that you feel about losing your favorite bracelet cannot possibly be the same sorrow you feel when a grandparent passes away.
In a related experiment I’ve started journaling more. Not just when I’m frustrated, but also when I’m filled with giddiness and laughter. I want to document all the various emotions I encounter on this crazy journey of life and try to find the words to better explain them. Heck, I might even invent a few words along the way.
There’s a whole spectrum of emotions out there and I’m on a mission to better identify and harness them. If I can recognize a certain type of happiness, maybe I can train myself to tap into that emotion when I need it most. Or control it when I need to.
I’m on a mission to learn more about myself and why my brain reacts the way it does sometimes. I’m on a mission to know myself inside and out and really try to define those colors that don’t have names yet. Will you join me on this mission?
Try this now: Think of a moment where you experienced an extreme emotion and weren’t sure why it was happening or how to remedy the situation. Did you have trouble communicating your state to your friends or family? Write down some notes in your journal about that experience and think of all the things leading up to that moment and everything that happened after. If you could go back in time and change something about your reaction, would you? What would you change?
I’d love to hear from you guys! Please feel free to drop in your comments below or on my Facebook page!
Sending you an entire grayscale of love, xx Nikbear