“Smoking is an outward signal of inner turmoil or conflict and most smoking has less to do with nicotine addiction and more to do with the need for reassurance.” – The Definite book of body language.
Emotions can be divided into two separate categories. The first category is pleasant emotions such as love. The second category is painful emotions such as fear. This division is overly simplistic and it serves only our purpose of contrasting emotions. A more truthful approach is to view feelings as a continuous spectrum, where the extremes are total bliss on the one end of the spectrum and nothingness or emptiness at the other extreme, not total pain as we would imagine. All emotions fit somewhere on that scale. We use this simple division here to give only a glimpse into the world of emotions, a world so vast that it would require a book of its own to give emotions their due honor. To suppress an emotion is to suppress all emotions, it is not possible to suppress anger and at the same time experience joy. If we are unable to feel anger fully, we are not able to feel joy fully. Emotions work this way: either we choose to feel all emotions fully, or we choose to suppress all emotions fully, there is no in-between. The different emotions are like kittens in a bag, we throw the bag into the river hoping to drown the anger kitten. The result is that all kittens die and we end up emotionally stunted. We cannot single out an emotion for suppression or amplification. Running away from our emotions, repressing them or avoiding them, even fearing them is not honoring our emotions, it is dishonoring our emotions and in effect dishonoring ourselves. Although we are not our emotions, our emotions are an integral part of who we are and we need to honor our whole being, and stop rejecting those parts of us we judge to be undesirable or unworthy of honor. When we don’t honor our emotions, we don’t honor our true selves. When we suppress emotions, we suppress our true selves. When we feel our emotions and move through them to their release we are honoring our emotions and we are mastering our emotional lives, we are honoring and mastering ourselves.
Emotions are reality for the monkey because the monkey lives in the here and now, exactly where emotions take place. The monkey looks to the past to remember painful moments in order to avoid similar situations in the now. The monkey does not understand the concept of future, because that requires imagination. There is no point in explaining long term consequences for the monkey. The monkey will react with fear and anger if we try to explain to it that the only source of relief, the cigarette, is causing it harm. How can cigarettes be bad when they remove pain and stress? How can feeling good be wrong? Rationalizes the monkey and lights another cigarette. Only the human can choose feeling bad over good now, in order to feel much better later. This is craziness to the monkey because it does not understand the concept of future consequences. Why does the silly human practice running everyday getting sweaty and tired? The monkey understands that running makes one tired, only human understands that running makes one stronger. Only human understands that the stronger body rests easier and is full of energy. For the human emotions are like the waves of the ocean, they ebb and flow. The monkey is stuck inside emotions and is a victim of the sea of emotions, only humans can learn to surf the waves of emotions and master them.