Friday, June 21, 2013

The risk of self-expression: why is it so hard for some, so necessary for culture itself?

Our bright friend Shadi just asked me, personally: why is so difficult for some people to express their true feelings? Did I have any opinions on the matter? She loves to induce these universal themes into rare occasions we can correspond in depth.

Mmm, I have a lot of thoughts on the difficulty of true expression. For one, I think some do not turn to truth in their attempted relations with people. For another, I find the absorption with emotional states is considered impractical by some, and will admit that a troubled state can leave a person more vulnerable than is comfortable in interacting with most people. I think people fear being left at the mercy of another, who may damage them deeply if they cannot be trusted with your absolute, deep investment. Ridicule, a sense of betrayal upon being misunderstood, and previous conditioning absorbed at a passive level all contribute to a person's reticence at being vulnerable. Make no mistake, tremendous hurt is possible, particularly if it's from a person who has involved your deep infatuation with a radical departure from the way of life you've known. A selfish person who has faked his or her way into those deep imaginative and emotional recesses might, with a lack of empathy, leave you with a kind of mental sickness. So there are hazards, even for those with some sincere touch with nobler, selfless feelings. It may be difficult to part with a strong urge to keep giving to someone who could care less what personal price you pay for what you freely give.

Those caveats considered, the riches of sharing of one's inner being, the value of connection, create a reservoir of self-worth and increased happiness. Sometimes, it's tenuous: we flawed human beings love other flawed human beings. We can wound without thinking. The value of selfless love, and its rewards, only come with experience. To one unwilling to perceive, it's as incomprehensible as the math of advanced technologies. Yet even such a one may see the wonder. The power of embracing and imitating one's inspirations is one we aspire to share, knowing some may not be so deeply effected. But what about the power of such things, to alter a desperate day, to sustain a wounded heart---or to encourage another to reach within, and change their very way of life, with the shape of something designed by one's very inner life?

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