Taking a Break from Emotions
Apathy is an emotion-free state of mind. A state of mind that allows us to take the time we need to get our heads straight and regain our balance. It offers us a short relief from the emotional turbulence, so we can correct our mistakes and adjust our patterns.
But without the proper understanding of emotions, this balance remains out of our reach. Falling into apathy over and over again, struggling to get out with no idea how. Causing apathy to stick around for much longer than it was intended to, and assume the form of a cruel punishment. Mutating apathy into the excruciating state that we know as depression.
Overwhelmed with Emotion
At times, our emotions can become too complicated for us to manage and too intense for us to bare. Flooded with emotions, unable to make sense of it all, express it, or decide how to deal with it, we shut down. Internally conflicted and overwhelmed, we experience a full emotional collapse. After which, everything becomes miraculously quiet.
Much like a circuit breaker, once the load becomes too intense to bear and we feel more than we can process, we simply disconnect. Separating our conscious mind from our emotional mind.
At this stage, without any emotions clouding our judgement, the conscious mind becomes crystal clear. Thinking becomes easy, logical, and more organized than ever. Suddenly, there’s no good, no bad, no liking nor disliking, no preference at all. All options seem pale and just as unattractive. Nothing excites us anymore and nothing makes us laugh, but at the same time, nothing angers us and nothing makes us sad. It’s a compromise, a sacrifice we must make to get back on our feet and regain our balance after our emotions have gone completely out of control.
Taking the emotional mind offline allows us to take the necessary pause we so desperately need, and rearrange our thoughts. Apathy allows us to step back from our habitual and reactive selves, observe our actions and emotions separately, and make the necessary corrections. This separation gives us the opportunity to better understand the impact that the two aspects of ourselves have on each other and potentially help us mediate between the two.
Once we make the necessary adjustments in our views, beliefs, and habits, it is time to reintegrate the two. Hoping that this time, everything will go smoothly, we wait for a comfortable moment to reintegrate emotions back into our lives. But as we later find out, bringing balance to our minds is not an easy task. Sooner or later, the same things happen again. Our emotions get out of control and leave us with no other choice but to disconnect.
Believing that we’re probably just not good enough, and all we need is to get better, we fight it harder and harder. Explaining to the unconscious mind, in any way possible, that we want good emotions, not bad emotions! But it just doesn’t seem to understand, and we must disconnect once again.
We repeat this process time and time again, each time making a few more adjustments, and creating some new conditionings to protect us from the emotional blowouts. Hoping that maybe, this time, our emotions will obey us, this time, our sadness will be gone, and our anger will be controlled. Wanting to be the master, wanting to be in control, we try to subdue the emotional monster and single-handedly rule the body. But for some reason, this never seems to happen.
Unsuccessful, but unwilling to give up, we repetitively condemn our emotions for a time-out. Until they behave we won’t allow any of them to come out. We’ll even remain apathetic forever if necessary, nothing will stop us!
But this technique has never really worked for anyone. As much as we might want, emotions can’t be separated like that, you can’t pick which one you get. So we remain punishing ourselves… forever.
The Root of Apathy
We live in a society that leaves no room for emotions, supply us with no emotional education, and often invalidates our emotions altogether. Due to that, many of us never acquire the necessary tools to correctly manage our emotions. Causing the process of reintegration to continuously fail, and make us result to apathy again and again. Leading to a constant state of miscommunication between our conscious mind and our emotional mind, a state we call depression.
We’re told that our unconscious emotional mind is some kind of savage. A primitive appendix that we were cursed to carry around. Something foreign that can never understand us. But if we are indeed as smart as we claim to be, maybe it’s time for us to try and understand it?
If we want to reach emotional balance, we must be the bigger mind and make it happen ourselves. Let’s find a new approach to dealing with our emotions. One that would allow us to think and feel, without fear and without conflict.
Main Image by: Suanin