Our emotions speak to us in metaphors, images and stories. These are our emotional poems. Candace Pert who wrote The Molecules of Emotion: The Science of Mind-Body Medicine (1999) believes that our body is the key to understanding our emotions. She says that our body is our unconscious mind. We experience our emotional poems in our bodies.
When we talk about emotional poems there are two kinds. One is the cultural way we express emotions. In America, here are some common examples:
Broken heart hurt, sadness
Butterflies in my stomach nervous
Knife through my heart betrayal
Weight of the world on my shoulders overwhelmed, stressed
Warm heart love
Seeing the world through rose colored glasses optimism
Boiling over rage
Tickled pink happy
In the book Metaphors We Live By (1980), authors George Lakoff and Mark Johnson give many examples of how our language is much more metaphorical than we ever knew. Once you start looking for metaphors you will find them everywhere especially when someone is talking about emotions or feelings.
When we experience a strong emotion a feeling label such as angry or happy doesn’t seem adequate. If we are really happy we might say “I’m on top of the world” or I’m jumping with joy.” Feeling labels help us place emotions into categories but they do not express the strength and qualities of the emotion. When there is a strong emotion only a poem will do.
The poetry of everyday language
Begin to listen to the poetry of everyday language. You may need to tune your ears to this new way of listening. Logical linear language is just the facts while poetic language is so much more. A poem creates an image in your mind or an emotion in your body. Poems engage your senses. Poems can make you laugh or cry. Poems touch us in deep ways.
Our unique poems
Each of us has our own unique way of communicating through personal emotional poetry – metaphors, images and stories. Often these poem are created early in life and reflect a young child’s view of the world. Your personal poems may be items from your childhood such as toys, rocks, pillows, small shoes and other items.
Spend some time listening and looking for emotional poems. You will find them everywhere – in songs, novels and even TV dialog. This awareness will help you when you begin exploring your personal poems. These poems are the key to releasing unwanted emotions.
(Image: CarbonNYC @ Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/carbonnyc/132922595/)