INFP, Freethinker, Sex Nerd

Core Values (2): Emotional freedom

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The freedom of expression belongs together with the emotional freedom, which includes the right to your own emotions, as well as the right to express all your emotions, including by crying or swearing, no matter who you are.

We are not logical thinking beings with emotions, we are emotional beings capable of thinking logically.

We live in a society that all too often values emotions of joy, happiness, and peace above all other emotions to such an extent that it inevitably ends in emotional oppression. I would rather be a whole person, with access to the full spectrum of human emotions – and allow others to do the same.1

Like all the colors of the rainbow, no emotion is more important than others. They are all important. Emotions are information about what you are experiencing and how you are feeling right now, but they can’t in themselves give you facts about other things – for example is a fear that something bad will happen, not necessarily accurate. The same goes for other emotions like for example jealousy. Emotions aren’t only based on what’s happening around us right now, but are most often also based on a combination of other things, such as the environment we grew up in, past experiences, personality and biology.

What you are not responsible for is your lover’s emotions. You can choose to be supportive – we’re great believers in the healing power of listening – but it is not your job to fix anything.

Janet W. Hardy & Dossie Easton: The Ethical Slut (Third Edition). Ch. 10: Boundaries

One woman we talked to had some very good ideas about what you can do about jealousy: I notice that jealousy comes and goes, depending on how good I feel about myself. When I’m not taking care of getting what I want, it’s easy to get jealous and think that someone else is getting what I am not. I need to remember that it’s my job to get my needs met. I feel the jealousy, but I’m not willing to act on it, so it mostly goes away. … Foisting your feelings off on your partners is a dead-end strategy: it just plain won’t work. Jealousy is an emotion that arises inside you; no person and no behavior can “make” you jealous. Like it or not, the only person who can make that jealousy hurt less or go away is you. … When you hold still with your jealousy, you will find that it is possible to feel something difficult without doing anything you don’t choose to do. You will have taken your second step at disempowering your jealousy. You’ve told your jealousy that you will not allow it to drive you to do anything that might destroy your loving relationships.

Janet W. Hardy & Dossie Easton: The Ethical Slut (Third Edition). Ch. 15: Roadmaps Through Jealousy

Nobody is responsible for other people’s emotions, and no one has the right to tell you what you should feel, that what you are feeling is wrong, or try to fix you emotions. Emotions can, in themselves, never be wrong. You are not a mistake, or worth less, because you feel something else than joy. Just because an emotion may be uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. All emotions are equally valid – even if others in that same situation would have felt and experienced something different. You are your own and are responsible for your own emotions.

As a child, I learned the Protestant Christian idea that swearing is wrong and a sin. A mindset that is related to the emotional oppression and manipulation that is so normalized in Protestant theology and culture. Religions (especially theistic religion) are often in both words and practice, in one way or another, opponents of full emotional freedom. This is due, among other things, to the fact that emotional oppression and manipulation can be used to gain attention from and power over others.

Being able to swear is an important and fundamental element in being able to express your emotions. Emma Byrne writes in her book, Swearing is good for you – the amazing science of bad language2: “Swearing also makes the heart beat faster and primes us to think aggressive thoughts while, paradoxically, making us less likely to be physically violent.” and “The use of profanity can help us withstand pain, diffuse stress, bond with our colleagues and even help us to learn new languages. It’s possibly one of the oldest forms of language we have, given how readily other primates have invented swearing of their own, and it turns out that it’s fucking useful.”

Therefore is neither the freedom of expression nor the emotional freedom complete, as long as we consider swearing to be wrong and/or a sin. Being free to swear is healthy and a fucking important part of being able to express your emotions. The same goes for all other emotional expressions.

Preventing or punishing others for showing their emotions is emotional oppression and a form of censorship. No one should be prevented from or punished for showing their emotions, no matter the reason, incl. crying, expressing anger and swearing, as long as it is done in a healthy way and doesn’t result in abuse of power, emotional manipulation and/or oppression of others.

Let us allow men to cry and women to swear: we need both means of expression.

Emma Byrne, Swearing is good for you – the amazing science of bad language3
  1. “What if instead of positioning happiness as the ultimate goal of existence, we strived for wholeness? And what if wholeness meant making room for the full spectrum of human emotions, which includes grief and anger and heartbreak. What if we instead of shaming people for struggling with hard feelings, we normalized being messy and human?” Daniell Koepke, https://www.instagram.com/p/CFPlXgEjgib/
  2. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35596772-swearing-is-good-for-you
  3. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35596772-swearing-is-good-for-you
INFP, Freethinker, Sex Nerd

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