I'm an Emotional Person, and That's a Good Thing
Updated: Apr 11
In Tumfo Tu, we learn a saying that encourages us to manage our emotions. The first time I heard this I embraced it readily, or so I thought. I figured it was pretty much in line with my family values. I grew up with mantras like:
“Don’t let them get under your skin” and
“Never let ‘em see you cry.”
“If you get in a fight you better win.”
These were my family mantras. My family valued strength and ferocity...while devaluing sensitivity.
Being a gentle and extremely sensitive soul I had a choice to make. My family knew my “hot buttons,” and would use them to get under my skin. I eventually stopped reacting, stuffing my anger so they couldn't control me anymore. We would also fight for sport...the goal being to make the other person cry. I quickly learned to manage my physical pain, so I would not cry. Little by little, I began to live a painless, anger-less life. I chose to numb.
This is the understanding with which I embraced the Tumfo Tu mantra, however, the more I repeated it something started to happen. “How can anger help you if you don’t feel it?” Suddenly I realized I had a problem...anger can’t help me if I don't feel it. Anger, fear, sadness...all the emotions I had attempted to banish from my experience. I had to let them back in, and yes it would hurt, but I was beginning to realize they were valuable.
I laugh because that realization came quickly, but the implementation has been less immediate. As I slowly let them back in, my emotions are telling me a story about myself. They are drawing lines around my being, helping me become more clear about my capacity and personal expression. I am discovering a new sense of strength now...the kind that comes when you are able to befriend your own anger, sadness and hurt.