Bagging it in.

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Letting the emotional cat out of the bag has always been an over-rated and over-hyped task according to me. [The one that’s not intended as a surprise or secret. I just liked the metaphor, don’t go all grammar nazi now.] Anyway, to do or not to do? Seriously?! How long can the cat stay in? Won’t it be struggling to simply be and longing for freedom? Isn’t it difficult for the bag-holder to handle such a live and constant presence contained into something so restrictive and against it’s nature? I think either the cat dies or it struggles really hard and hurts the bag-holder and maybe itself, in a fit of rage. Or the bag-holder gets tired and bogged down by all the ‘baggage’ and becomes irritable and eventually ends up doing something against his nature. Just stating few of the many possibilities. And all because it’s seen fit to suppress the cat in the bag!

How many times have you felt something strongly, but bottled it up, because you wanted to be polite, or were too emotional [hurt/angry etc.], couldn’t be bothered to let it out, weren’t allowed to let it out or were too shocked to react instantly? Or in the saddest, but most common case, simply had no one to let it all out to.

Having amazing friends or family does not necessarily mean that you can feel free to talk your mind or express your emotions all the time. Heck, at times they maybe a reason for your bad mood. At times, an outlet becomes the only thing necessary to feel better about a situation. People who are closest to us or people we hardly know, are equally capable of triggering some sort of a reaction in us, and at times these incidents leave an impact that can’t be easily shaken away. The cat in the bag struggles.

Sometimes, our emotional reactions may not be rational according to convention. But we still own them, we are the ones who live with the thoughts generated and our emotional responses that arise as a consequence. To see why you feel the way you feel, trace it to the thoughts that trigger those feelings. Take a lil moment and think it out.

Would you suppress happiness? Would you be hiding joy or laughter or any other positive feeling? Those are feelings we covet, that we want more of, right? Then, why would anyone want to suppress a negative emotion/feeling and let it build? You need to empty out the negative inside you, to make way for more positive stuff to get in. At times, it becomes necessary to let the cat out of the bag to fill it with goodies et.al.

charliebsighIshan was another of those teenagers who had a mother trying to get to terms with his changing choices and priorities and the pressure of board exams. He had a lot to chew on, what with his gf, keeping in touch with the latest fads in fashion, music, technology, news etc. And then there was family, who still kept treating him like a kid. A normal life. But, his mother wouldn’t listen to him. She would hear him alright. But she didn’t really listen to his opinions and views on different things. She would just nod and continue or at times simply ignore and blame it on her busy, distracted life. Ishan obviously didn’t like it. He was expected to listen all the time, so why couldn’t she listen to him too at times? Fine, he decided not to listen much anymore either. He began to feel that his opinions didn’t matter. That anything he said was never given value. Probably he wasn’t valued much? Stretching it too far? This is a true story, my dear. Ishan continued to pretend on the outside that it didn’t bother him much. However, his hurt was turning into rage on the inside. He began to defy his mother. Eventually, he began to display his anger assertively. He began to speak loudly, because he wanted her to listen. It didn’t really make it alright. But, it gave him a reverse outlet, something that wasn’t really helping him. All that suppression turned out to be disastrous. The alternative? Communication and expression of discontent and hurt.

There are so many times where direct communication is not immediately possible. At such times, finding an alternative and healthy outlet is very important. Talking it out to another person, not only makes it seem as a ‘not-so-big-a-deal’, but it also can also give a different perspective. Who knows you may find a solution or even get rid of the thing that was bothering you. Just try not to bottle it up. Finding a distraction, will only provide temporary relief and will do nothing much really.

Trust people enough to communicate and make an effort for your own self. Talk it out and don’t overthink things. At times, bottling stuff, gives the mind a chance to make a mountain of a molehill, linking some past event to whatever happened in the present. It’s all simply unnecessary drama. If you really care enough, you will make an effort; for yourself or the person involved or maybe both. Communication can be open minded and polite. You can ask the person to listen to you and then take turn to listen to them. If that’s too difficult, write to each other.

Nothing is a big deal, yes. But, nothing’s a waste or unimportant either. If it bothers you, it is important!  So, tackle it. When we can spend time on so many different things and multi-task like wicked, why not spend a lil time on emotional well-being too. Nothing great really, it’ll just make you feel better or even good. Give it a thought. Handle your bag with care.

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2 responses

  1. Hola Dee,

    Wonderful write up. You voiced what I’m sure, many of us think upon often.

    I find communication to be the key to letting the cat out. But, sadly, in spite of or, rather, because of the improvements in the number of and quality of the media available to us to communicate, communication skills seem to be on the decline. Very few people manage to effectively communicate their thoughts. Verbally or otherwise. Assumptions, misinterpretations, prejudiced opinions and attempting multi-tasking have greatly impeded communication between individuals.

    It is out of the fear- both real and perceived, of not being understood that most people choose to bottle up stuff rather than sharing it..

    Like you said, I guess we should quit over-thinking it and just go ahead and make an attempt to share things..!

    Looking forward to hear more from you..

    Regards,
    Gautham

    1. Hey Gautham,
      Thank you. 🙂 Well said, I completely agree with what you said. I’ve found it that a lil communication can go a long way in instilling peace of mind. Maybe, we’ll eventually trust people more and let go of whatever holds us back.

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