Friday, 9 March 2012

Emotional Clarity

Recently I have been wondering about how I and perhaps we as women reflect emotions back -  into the world and in particular, as mothers, to our children. It occurred to me that often the way this is done seems quite contradictory or ambiguous. 

As a mother there are plenty of opportunities to be part of conversations between mothers and children, my own and that of others. Conversations in part reflect and express beliefs we hold about ourselves and our children. And language externalises that which is held inside. Which doesn't necessarily mean language names that which is inside. It's precisely the naming that can be difficult.

I often wonder why there are moments when I feel mad. I feel mad when my inner world and the outer world don't match up. I feel mad when conversations out there, the mother-child conversation, seems to be all about glossing over what is intensely felt inside and all about glossing up an image to the outside. I feel mad when society seems to be telling me that that which I feel is not what I feel. 

Is this something we women and mothers have a tendency to do and a tendency to perpetuate?  Say one thing, do another. Feel one thing, think another, say yet another. My inner eye gets lost in fragmented journeys, ruptures, chasms, dents and holes. And I begin to feel mad. What if, we start to aspire to emotional clarity? An inner landscape where the trajectory is clear(er) from the source of the emotion inside, to the recognition of this emotion to ourselves, to the expression of it to the outside world? So that others may have the freedom too to feel what they feel and to express what they need to express. 

This seems like an important aspiration to me in particular with regards to my children. For what do I teach them if I confuse them with contradictory messages? Perhaps they grow up not knowing anymore themselves what they feel and what they think. Or they start to feel that they need to feel the same as I do as their mother and thus start denying their own feelings. Perhaps they begin to feel mad too when the outside seems disconnected from the inside. And perhaps girls in particular, will in time emulate this warped language of contradicting a feeling to the outside, thus helping to perpetuate this way of being- lost-in-translation. 

It's an aspiration. It's a thought. I shall try to be mindful of emotional clarity and emotional tangles and denials. 

Yayoi Kusama - I want to live honestly, like the Eye in the Picture - 2009

How free and light I feel when I manage to express the feeling I have inside as it is and how willing the other seems to be in receiving this clarity.