Contact Me Here
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    « One Sunday In August... | Main | Anatomy of A Ready To Go Bedroom »

    Emotional Bullshit

    In the vernacular of Clintology:

    emo•tion•al  bull• shit.

    1. denial of how you feel;
    2. kidding yourself, and someone else, of your feelings;
    3. not done consciously; a blind spot; you don’t know that you don’t know it;
    4. when you become aware of this blind spot, the possibility of creating something new and different appears; a more conscious, far more fulfilling and loving emotional life; you then have the possibility of truly intimate love in your life.

           Emotional Bullshit. It’s everywhere.
           I was once a world class Emotional Bullshitter. I was angry and sad and was in complete denial about how angry and sad I was. Today, when I engage in Emotional Bullshit, it’s almost always in my denying that I am either angry or hurt.
           It doesn’t make us bad people. It doesn’t make us wrong. But it does get in our way.
           Emotional Bullshit is not purposely deceiving somebody about how you feel because, for example, you don’t want to hurt their feelings. It isn’t being deceptive because there’s something you want from somebody, and being deceptive will help you get it. Emotional bullshit is when we are so cut off from what we feel that we don’t know we’re not being honest about our true feelings. Emotional Bullshit is in essence emotional denial. And a great acronym for D.E.N.I.A.L.  is “Don’t Even Know I Am Lying”.
           This comes at a tremendous cost. Emotional Bullshit is accompanied by a reluctance to be vulnerable and a reluctance to open up; when we are afraid to admit we are afraid. We Emotionally Bullshit when we are afraid to admit we are lost, don’t want to look bad, and don't want anybody to see how lost we are.
           Emotionally Bullshitting another is not done in a calculated fashion designed to deceive. It is done out of fear, and as an act of protection. It’s a survival mechanism that saved us from great pain in the past.
           Emotional Bullshit is what I call a semi-conscious choice. If it were totally conscious, then it would be an active lie. If it were totally unconscious, we would experience virtually no internal conflict over it. But because it’s semi-conscious, we aren’t aware that we are doing it, but we are on some level suffering because of it. We have feelings of love, and desire connection and intimacy, but we are too afraid to give into them. Our fear prevents us from getting what our heart most desires.  
           In our present culture, where the fear of intimacy, vulnerability, and commitment to another runs very high, we routinely stuff how we feel. We deny our desire for connection and love. In fact, we have become very sophisticated and clever about denying it.
           Emotionally, we don’t know who we are. We don’t know what we feel because we are so cut off from our hearts. So we don’t know what we want. And the way we currently go about relationships is how a culture that doesn’t know who they are or what they want behaves. We have one half or both halves of couples coming in and out of the relationship. We look lost. We act lost. Because we are lost.  
           There is a way out of all this. But it requires we embrace something else. It requires coming out of emotional denial and into emotional embrace. Almost like an alcoholic coming out of denial of being an alcoholic. And just like in any twelve step program, this means, and here's a four letter phrase: “doing some work on ourselves”.
           This should really come as no surprise. Look how much time and effort and energy and commitment we put into our careers to succeed and be more fulfilled at our jobs. Don’t our relationships deserve at least a fraction of that time, energy, effort, and commitment? And when I say “relationships” I am first and foremost talking about your relationship with yourself. Right behind that would be your intimate relationship, if you have one, or any other relationship in your life that is vitally important to you.
           Coming out of Emotional Bullshit and living a rich emotional life is also known as being “emotionally available”. You can relate becoming more emotionally available to achieving physical fitness. Many of us commit precious resources to staying physically fit. And most of our education in this area is learned by doing. It’s a practice. We also learn from reading books and magazines about fitness, and often hire professionals like personal trainers to assist us. Isn’t our emotional life worth at least that much?
            As I’ve said, when I Emotionally Bullshit myself these days, it’s usually around anger and sadness. This is because of my continuing occasional struggles around the emotions anger and pain. Whatever particular emotions you are most uncomfortable with (and this could actually be all emotions), you will be in most denial about. You will shut those most uncomfortable and frightening emotions out the most. Ultimately meaning you will be in the most conflict with them and suffer the most from stuffing them.
           Years ago, I gave up the fear of being vulnerable. In other words, I got comfortable with the emotion of love. I put down much of my macho bullshit facade and embraced how wonderful it felt to love another and be loved. I did this in all of my relationships. With my lover. With my close friends. With my family. I embraced my huge heart, my deep feelings, let go of a sometimes very hard exterior and softened up so much that I redefined all the intimate relationships in my life, from my father to my girlfriend.
           I don’t struggle so much with coming from my heart anymore. I don’t struggle with showing love. I show it. I receive it. I swim in it, even if sometimes I feel like I’m drowning. After all, how the fuck do you learn to swim if you stay out of the water? You don’t. Yet many of us try to be in loving relationships without actually diving into the water. And when we do dive in, we wear a life jacket. We half ass it, not risking being vulnerable, not opening up. We jump in, life preserver on, then jump out when it gets tough or scary. We’re incredibly stingy with our emotions, aren’t willing to explore ourselves, and aren’t willing to risk.
           Let me ask you, does anybody who doesn’t take off the life jacket ever learn to swim? You’ll never learn to swim in the exquisite sea of deep and intimate love without taking off the life jacket and giving it all you’ve got. And, if you’re with a person who’s already a better swimmer than you, and loves you enough to stick with you while you give it your best, you can learn so much. And you can swim together.
           Because, after all, that’’s what the ocean is for.

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

    Reader Comments

    There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>