I Envy the Freedom Of Children

Tantrum

C.K. Williams, Repair

A child’s cry out in the street, not of pain or fear,
rather one of those vividly inarticulate
yet perfectly expressive trumpet thumps of indignation:
something wished for has been denied,
something wanted now delayed.
So useful it would be to carry that preemptive howl
always with you; all the functions it performs,
its equivalents in words are so unwieldy,
take up so much emotive time,
entail such muffling, qualifying, attenuation.
And in our cries out to the cosmos, our exasperation
with imperfection, our theodicies, betrayed ideals:
to keep that rocky core of rage within one’s rage
with which to blame, confront, accuse, bewail
all that needs retaliation for our absurdly thwarted wants.

Wikipedia states a tantrum is an emotional outburst of ill humor or a fit of bad temper wherein the higher brain functions are unable to stop the emotional expression of the lower (emotional and physical) brain functions.  It can be categorized by an irrational fit of crying, screaming, defiance, and a resistance to every attempt at pacification in which even physical control is lost. The person may not stand or sit on their own. Even when the “goal” of the person is met, he or she is not calmed.

I think the entire concept is magnificent! In fact, I’d like to throw one daily. Adult tantrums are frowned upon. We are supposed to handle our feelings with grace and dignity. We are taught composure during those first dregs of adolescence.  It seems the very idea of displaying public emotions is gauche. We are raised to cope and survive with rare opportunity to feel. It stagnates our personal growth. We become Adult Children.  It even affects our health.

“There is no quick route to emotional awareness because many of us have lost that capacity in early childhood. We must begin by practising paying close attention to the body: tension in the neck, a flutter in the abdomen, a headache, a sudden hoarseness of voice, unexplained muscle pain, the outbreak of a rash, poor sleep, disturbed bowel habits – these and many other phenomena can be symptomatic of some underlying emotional disturbance. We must at such times ask what in our lives – in our work, in our relationships – we have not been paying attention to. Why, and to what, is our body saying no?”

–Gabor Mate, MD, is a Vancouver physician and the author of When The Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress (Knopf Canada, March 2003), available in paperback February 2004 from Vintage Canada.

It’s scary… we live a world that promotes repression. It fractures our emotional equilibrium and we become crippled.  No matter how much you deny, your feelings do not become a magician’s hat trick- They do not disappear.  But again we are taught to not acknowledge, but ignore.

You scrape your knee.
Don’t Cry!

Fall off your bike.
Don’t Cry!

Kids don’t want to play with you?
Fuck’em!

Your older sibling hits you.
Don’t be a baby!

Didn’t make the football team.
Fuck that football team!

Debt builds.
Don’t Cry!

Miss out on a promotion.
Don’t Cry.

Home forecloses.
Don’t Cry.

And we move on and we continue.  We’ve lost our outbursts and hissy fits. Many become prescription pill abusers, alcoholics, or drug users.  They are unable to express their emotions in a healthy state of conniptions. This reduces some to impulsive, destructive behavior, like becoming sexually promiscuous or criminals. There are those who retreat from the world altogether. They become reclusive and socially awkward individuals who generally suffer chronic anxiety.

But how good it would feel to fall to the ground and kick and scream and wail until you’re spent.  I don’t know about you but I’d definitely feel better! Let’s break the Emotional Martyrdom and Feel!  There are no bad emotions. We need eustress and distress. There is no such thing as darkness… even that, is a shadow of light. So whether you feel fearful, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, or anger- Let it out, Express it, and Heal.

Soothe your soul as a mother does her child.
or you may end up kinda like this guy…

and the last thing we need is your crazy ass going postal…

 

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