Why do you numb yourself?

What is it? Why do we have an epidemic of numbness around us? Why seems everyone comfortable to not feel?

A few years ago I met someone who honestly told me ‘ I don’t feel.’ I didn’t get it. Wasn’t able to absorb this. How can you not feel? He had no plan, no feelings, no nothing. Was drifting through life.

What I realized back than: you can’t expect someone to behave like a feeling human being when he is numb. It never occurred to him that he was hurting the people around him.

A long time ago he had put up a shield to protect himself. If you don’t want to get hurt you close yourself. Doing this for month or years leads to disconnection. You don’t know who you are anymore.

That’s what he did. Living in his brain, being extremely successful at work and rushing through his private life.

In the end it didn’t work out. He was restless all the time, always hunting for more, more, more, more. Yet, without the capability to feel everything remained shallow. After running away for years his carefully constructed house came crushing down on him.

His private and his work life exploded. Numbing lost its power. The first and longtime only feeling? Pain. That’s why we do this in the first place. We don’t want pain, grief, anger. Eventually there was joy as well. It took time and work , inner work, to get there.

When we grow up we either learn to deal with unpleasant feelings or we shut them out. There are a lot of ways to do this. Sex, Alcohol, Work, Food, Busyness to name the most common ones. What’s your favorite? Pick one.

We all know shadow and light belong together.  But we think when we turn on the light bright enough – the shadows melt. They don’t. And they shouldn’t. Would you want to walk through life slightly dizzy with joy every minute? Nooooo. We need both. It’s not a big deal. Your pain, your sorrows, your grief have to walk through you. You just have to let them walk.

Our emotions use our body to let us know what’s going on. As simple as that. Yes, it might take a day, a week, even a year. What happens if you close them away for a year? Depression, cancer, heart failure…you name it.

Think about it. Feel into it. Act on it.

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