Brene Brown has been a powerful influence in my life over the past few years, and I love what she has to say about numbing. We don’t get to selectively numb the painful emotions. When we numb the fear, the anxiety, the brokenness, the hurt – we also numb joy, love, connection, wonder, etc. “When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” ~B.Brown.
And I feel numb. I like so many others, have become adept at avoiding my feelings.
Here is a quote from an another author currently rocking my world –
“The problem with being numb is that it is less detectable than sadness or anger or joy. People don’t often even think about it, except that usually just under the surface, there is a nagging sense that something isn’t right.”
Do you feel a little off? Maybe you know you don’t exactly feel happy anymore – but you may also know that there’s nothing really “wrong” either. But it’s there – that feeling, that knowing….that this isn’t how it should be.
We were not designed or created to live numb. We were not meant to escape our lives through distraction. We aren’t meant to numb out – burn out -become apathetic.
We live in a culture that has never been so distracted. And we’ve become so blind to the many tools we use to numb out. We know about “eating our feelings” and having that glass of wine at the end of a long day – but what about endless hours of Netflix binging, escape reading, never-ending scrolling through social media, and constantly living for “the next”? So many things prevent us from living present – enjoying our “now.” Do we need to completely avoid these things? No. But, when we’re tempted to sit and watch an entire season of a show on Netflix or eat handfuls of chocolate chips, we need to ask ourselves WHY. Are we seeking to enjoy good food, entertainment, etc – or are we using them as tools to numb out?
If we want to heal, we need to feel. We need to feel our pain, our hurt, our fears. We can’t numb the dark without numbing the light too. I don’t want to continue to live without joy – without passion – without excitement. We weren’t made to simply exist, just getting by from day to day – we were made to FEEL – to LIVE!
What would it feel like to wake up? What would it look like to live renewed? How would it change your family if you started to feel again? What would that do in your marriage? Your friendships? Your spiritual walk?
We need to have the courage to “rumble” with our feelings – and dare to work through them – finding the root causes and working to bring about change.
I love this quote I found in a Psychology Today article by writer Susan Biali M.D. -“You see a lot more when your head is lifted up instead of focused down or inward, transported away from life and blinded to it by some numbing pleasure.”
I want to see more. I want to feel. I want to smile. I want to laugh. I want to live AWAKE.