Locally, we stand well aware of our base needs; our body alerts us with thirst for drink and ache for food. Our eyes become weighty with desire for sleep. This is easy. Our biology, although infinitely complex, does well to inform us of how it needs to go on existing. And if these needs are kept to par, then at face value our physical state persists as “normal”.
And what about the emotional state? Glad you asked.
At times, some of these physical ‘pars’ aren’t met, and can affect our emotional space. There’s no empirical means to measure one’s true emotional state (however we do get close with value assessments and superficial data ranges, but that’s about it). It appears we’re bound to use practical adjectives like “sad”, “happy”, “angry”, etc. as a means to describe our states. But these only serve as small windows into much larger spaces.
Ever been in a funk? You know, that emotionally empty (or heavy) state where all you feel is a kind of pressure; maybe all you feel is alone, and so consumed by it that you can hardly see past your nose? The funk occurs when we’re starved. It’s the writer’s equivalent of feeling creatively blocked. So?
Can we remedy emotional needs the same way we remedy our biological needs? Kind of, not really.
Our feelings are incorporeal, non-physical, so tangible remedies only exist as temporary solutions, i.e. medications that produce or redistribute our neurochemicals (serotonin, dopamine) and thus affect a limited (hourly even) state of change. I’m for the medication if needed. But it will not fix the real problem of consistently finding yourself in the lows.
If what informs you forms you, then what keeps dragging you back to the funk? Back to starvation? What agreements are feeding your emotional state?
A close friend of mine just found out that he has an allergy to alcohol. Although unfortunate, he’s happy to have pinpointed the real problem thinking all along it was other things. I wonder if we have agreements we’re actually allergic to and simply aren’t aware of. I wonder if we believe certain things about ourselves and simply aren’t aware of the debilitating affects (however subtle) it’s had on our lives. Maybe it’s time to really look under the hood and take inventory of the parts that make up you. Pull out each part, hold it up to the light, as ask if you still need/want it.
We wouldn’t knowingly feed our children a food they were allergic to — the affect could be devastating. Why would we do the same to ourselves?