Metabolizing Emotions

This post was inspired by thepeoplestherapist

Forgive and forget? Nah. Metabolize, January 22, 2010

Metabolization, in its most basic explanation, is the body’s process of converting the food we ingest to the various building blocks our bodies need to keep it going. It’s also the process whereby the body discards that which it doesn’t need.

How convenient would it be if there was a similar process for dealing with the various emotions we experience? To not let an emotion like anger affect us as if it was some poisonous toxin that gets absorbed at a molecular level, conversely, breaking us down from the inside. What if we dealt with anger? Not with the less practical methods of forgetting or forgiving, but as psychotherapist Will Meyerhofer suggests in his ‘The People’s Therapist’ blog, to not fear anger, but contain it – “feel it, study it, learn from it – but not succumb to the temptation to go unconscious and act on it”. Perhaps more of us would be less affected by physical manifestations stress and depression if we dealt with the emotions we are sometimes forced upon us by external factors.

Of course, one could aspire to a pre-emptive approach to controlling one’s emotions, as the David Banner character from the ‘Avengers’ franchise eventually learns to, but perhaps that’s a bridge too far for us mere mortals…for now.

Meyerhofer writes:

The mass unconscious discharge of aggression is commonly known as war.  At some level, it feels good too.  And leads to untold horrors.

That’s why metabolizing anger is a better strategy.  You put the anger into words, and start to understand it.  This process converts raw emotion into communication.

The poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, wrote,  “Let life happen to you.  Believe me: life is in the right, always.”