I had this realisation the other day…
I believe I can explain this better by sharing with you an excerpt from a conversation Imo (my imaginary friend) and I had some time ago…
Imo, please take the floor.
Imo: I believe the conversation went like this… You were telling me about how it’s annoying when you can’t stop yourself from smiling at the sight of an attractive man, and I asked why it was so annoying…
Mary: Because then they can tell I like them and everything goes downhill after that.
Mary: Because I don’t have a chance in Hell with any of them, that’s why!
Imo: And that’s because…?
Mary: Because they are males!
Mary: They are human!
Mary: They are human males, it’s not like they are cartoon characters…!!!
Imo: *confused look* So… you would stand a better chance with cartoon characters than with men?
I believe this is a prime example of “something that is emotionally true even though it is not mentally true”.
No, I haven’t lost my marbles
From a “logical”, “intellectual”, “mental” standpoint, the above statement makes no sense.
And it may even imply that I’m losing my marbles…
But from an “emotional” standpoint? It makes perfect sense.
Think about it. I have spent my entire childhood and a good portion of my adolescence pairing myself up with men from the “land of fiction”. While in the land of “reality” boys scared the living daylights out of me. They were mean. They would call me names.
And they would all fancy the pretty, popular girl of the class. Who was never “me”.
Well… Is it any wonder I have come to associate “real man = no chance” “cartoon man = all the chance”?
(Remind me to share with you some day my list of Cartoon Loves…)
Why separating between “emotionally true” and “mentally true” is a good idea:
- This is an excellent way to separate between the emotions and the thoughts. Which lies at the heart of working with your stuff. (and all of mindfulness, yoga, etc… Seriously, this lies at the core of mental and emotional health.)
- It gets you out of “resistance”, which is what keeps you “stuck”. You no longer struggle with “Am I right, or am I now right”. Or, in my case, “am I insane or am I not insane?!”. You accept that something can be emotionally true while not being mentally true.
- Emotions are always true. Always. And they are always legitimate.
- Super important: this can help you stop the Emotion Explosion. You know, it’s when you feel something but you tell yourself you have no right to feel it and so you end up feeling it even more until you explode? Not good.
Don’t worry, you won’t “lose” your mind
That’s actually a joke. I mean you won’t “lose” your mind: it will still be there. You can go back to thinking about things being “mentally true” whenever you want.
You are just allowing things to not be “mentally true” when you are in a state of Seriously Feeling Emotions… Because in that state, it’s best to put the mind in “pause” mode.
You are creating space to experience emotions. Which is good and necessary.
Note: I would like to publicly give thanks to Imo, my imaginary friend, for giving me the space to be as mad as I need to be, all in the name of helping me process my emotions, and making me all around happier. Yay to imaginary friends.