A blog by Luc Nicon

This title may seem provocative but, unfortunately, it’s the quickest way to translate how we live our reality.

Since I was a child, all I ever heard was how you should keep your emotions to yourself, get over any dissatisfaction, and transcend difficulties. Always smile at life no matter what happens.

How did any of the help?  In reality, we are simply given a way to suffer in silence and to save face even if things are bad inside. We are not happy, but we must not show it, not accept it, instead, we must repress things in a revolt against life, against our life. It is fashionable to express the radiant part of ourselves and to repress the dark part in the depths of our unconscious.

But what becomes of our frustrations, our fears, our stresses, our anger? Where do these emotions go? Can they disappear by the mere force of our will, like a magic wand? And no, they keep going around in us. Lurking in the shadow of the assurance that we display, anxiety lurks. Behind the positive smile, the fear is still there.

To suppress our fears, in the best of cases, we use a lot of energy. For example, I am afraid when I ski, but I am courageous, and I am proud to be stronger than my fear… It doesn’t matter if I am then emptied. A good night’s sleep and I’ll be ready to face other challenges, with other fears. This is the most optimistic scenario.

It becomes more serious when our body reacts with multiple undesirable manifestations. The whole procession of psychosomatic reactions is concerning, but also, researchers are increasingly convinced, it leads to most diseases too.

Indeed, every time I want to silence an emotion that does not suit me or that I suppress it because it is not suitable for those around me, I finally put myself in danger. To limit the damage, we have for the most part adopted a salutary attitude – avoid as much as possible everything that puts us in difficulty. The problem is that we end up having an extremely shrunk life. Well settled in our comfort zone, we no longer put our noses out and let the thousand and one possibilities of a better life go away – the life that, deep down, we would like to live. Bitterness, dissatisfaction, anger lie in wait for us, and these emotions, in turn, end up turning into psychosomatic manifestations or illnesses. In the end, avoidance delays the deadline, but we cannot escape it!

We must stop hiding, masking our panics, managing our stresses, keeping our phobias at bay, overcoming our inhibitions, repressing our anger, our violence. The time has come to stop ostrich. It’s time to meet our fears. They are the signal that something is wrong inside of us. Indeed, it is not the outside that causes our difficulties, it is our own dysfunctions that pollute our existence. Why do I get angry with my child? Because he doesn’t do what I want? No, this aggression is only the expression of my fear, the fear that he won’t succeed, the fear of not knowing how to help him, the fear of not being listened to or respected, etc. Getting carried away with my child will rarely help the situation and, in any case, will not resolve the fear that drives me to aggression.

All these unpleasant emotions that I repress, that I hide, are the ones that show me the way. They invite me to follow them to take me to where I can finally meet them and cross them once and for all.

We all have the natural ability to regulate our emotions. As soon as we are in emotional reaction, it is enough for us to pay attention to the sensations present in our body and to remain in connection with them, without doing anything, without wanting anything, biding the time for them to evolve until calming down. The process takes around twenty seconds on average. After that, we are calm and facing the situation that exacerbated our fear no longer causes any emotional manifestation. And it will never cause it again.

This natural capacity is universal, whatever our culture, our religion, our education. It is available at will, without outside help. Just change our habits. We do not need to try to manage our emotions by being positive, just taking a good breath to relax, swallowing food, medicines or drugs to calm them down, launching ourselves headlong into an activity, etc. We just have to go through our emotional reactions the moment they happen.

From now on, there is no need to look good by trying to smile when fear wins us: let’s cross it and we will then be able, naturally, without effort, to smile beautifully at life.