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Emotional Poverty

People all over the world are starving to death, passing of preventable diseases, and being worked to death. Their physical needs are unmet, and so they die.

This is called poverty.

On the other end of the world, though, we have everything we need, and most of what we want.

But we too, are in poverty.

Emotional poverty.

We’re supposed to make a stand, but shouldn’t make a scene.

Share your vulnerable heart, but keep your face a screen.

Indifference or happiness, either one are fine.

Opinion is ok, but tears are swept away.

Be your best self, be happy, shoot for the moon, you are powerful, you can do things, you are strong.

But don’t you dare feel anything.

Restrain your anger, drown your fears, kill your laughter, dry your tears.

Be quite, sit still.

But change the world.

I believe that this has been the problem with society forever. Humans, not allowed to be humans. It’s supposed to be good for you. To not feel. But it’s the exact opposite. It creates monsters. It creates unreal things, distorted versions of our human beings. In Jesus’ day, women were not to have feelings, or voice. Men were supposed to be strong, so they couldn’t be caught in a vulnerable position. Soldiers then and now are stripped of their humanity. Don’t feel anything. This is for the greater good of everybody. Win this war, kill these people, this thing, and the world will be a better place. Enlighten yourself to a state of great connection with God, but please don’t feel. Make the world a better place, all these material, physical things. Find your identity in these things, not the inner universe of the complex workings of your soul. Fulfill your physical needs, but restrain your emotions.

Nothing has changed since then. We get too caught up in our outward appearance, our likes on social media, the outward bling and shine. It’s like the fruit in the garden. Take it, and you will be more, for you inside are inadequate. That’s not true. A shiny car, or a shiny job, or a shiny house, or a shiny spouse, this will complete us? That is offensive to yourself. You are worth so much more than all of these objective things. You are a PERSON. A complex collection of bone and flesh and spirit and emotions. An intricate galaxy that blesses the world with it’s very existence. A real, raw thing with emotions. You’re human. You can feel.

I have had to learn this within my fourteen years of existing. I have encountered many things that have created massive emotions, and instead of holding them back, and crushing them, and telling them not to exist, I love them. If i have tears, i let them flow. If i’m upset, I let it go. I express myself in as many ways possible, and talk to whomever I can. Just speaking of my inner struggles: my hopes, my fears, my dreams- it helps. I don’t even have a solution. I just have these emotions, and then I express them, and I feel renewed. If i need to have a tough conversation, or something inside is just not quite right, I speak out, and more often than not I feel better.

People say it’s ok not to be ok. But nobody actually admits their fears and their trials. Our struggles are to be kept quiet, our emotions hidden, and it seems that we’re alone with nobody to turn to.

They won’t understand, we think. It seems like they have it all together. You’d be surprised.

I myself have heard this a lot, ‘It’s ok not to be ok, other people aren’t ok, we all have struggles…’ But like, let’s be more real about this.

If you gotta cry, cry.

If you gotta scream, yell at the sky.

If you gotta dance, go for it.

If you look strange to other people, that’s because expression isn’t common.

Really, it’s hindered.

We’re put into these education systems that teach us how to sit still and be quiet and be smart, but they don’t talk about emotions.

Teachers are monotone, same lessons every day, every month, every year. Students either have their spirits crushed because they won’t sit down, or they fail in this generalized system.

We’re brought up to be without ourselves. For the system. For the world.

It seems our human needs have been neglected.

And we wonder why people are ending themselves.

Our society is dying, on an emotional level.

Emotional poverty.

It’s an epidemic.

Humans are accomplished in ways, and destructive in others.

There has got to be a balance to the madness of our world, our society.

If we work to do some good, or just work to stay alive in general, we seem to tire ourselves out. We burn our physical energy, and then in the tireless continuum of time, the consistent schedules and late nights trying to catch up, we don’t have time to process our emotional selves.

Paper over pain.

Service over sadness.

Pleasing over peace.

Make time for yourself.

And just let yourself feel.

When you’re awake at night and can’t sleep, that’s the emotional side of you trying to catch up to the fast paced, hard working, bright flashy lives we try to lead. But our work is not us. We are us. We are human.

So.

If you’ve got some time between something, don’t pick up your phone, or busy yourself with even more things. Try to slow down, and give your emotional self time to catch up. We are humans, not machines, and society doesn’t seem to recognize that.

I feel exhausted just thinking about it.

When do we ever get a break.

But that’s why I say, slow down.

Think about things.

Scream, cry, sing, dance, write, run, zone out.

Whatever.

Just give yourself the time to be yourself, and see all those emotions coming through.

Those are expressions of your person.

And your person is important.

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