Well, not the title I was expecting to choose on a Sunday morning!
One person I follow on Twitter regularly posts up what their ‘chosen mood’ is on any particular day. Things like “alive and awake”, “humble”, “prolific”, “luminous”, “fun!”. I think the idea is that you influence how you feel day-to-day and where you want to go by consciously choosing aspirational sentiments. I do like the idea and I would probably choose something like “magnificent!” on a regular basis.
— Melanie Cobb (@JourneyToWild) April 25, 2013
But it got me to thinking, what about all the less pleasant emotions that everyone feels, what do we choose to do with them? I wonder whether there is a danger that those aspects of our lives which feel hurt, anger or frustration might end up being ignored, repressed and pushed into our unconscious. The risk being that they pop up in places when you’re not expecting them. For example, snapping at your kids or “kicking the dog”.
Here’s a contrasting view on Twitter last week:
“If you want to live safe, minimize heartbreak. If you want to live true, maximize it.”
— umair haque (@umairh) April 25, 2013
I wonder whether it may be healthier to at least acknowledge and articulate those other emotions.
People and organisations are becoming more and more savvy when it comes to Social Media. Carefully designed guidelines and online reputation management can leave a rather saccharine after taste. Have you ever been surprised when you finally meet someone you had only previously connected with online to find that in real life there was a whole side to them you hadn’t seen?
To finish with, here’s my favourite passage from my all time favourite book, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World..
“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin.’
‘In fact,’ said Mustapha Mond, ‘you’re claiming the right to be unhappy.’
‘All right then,’ said the Savage defiantly, ‘I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.’
‘Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.’
There was a long silence. ‘I claim them all’