July 26, 2020

It’s Time to Stop “Regulating” our Emotions.

I wonder sometimes what the need is to “regulate” emotions.

Sure, sometimes I wish I didn’t react so strongly to assholes and could just brush off feeling heartbroken.

I wish, too, that I didn’t feel deep sadness when I’m alone, and didn’t feel rejection as strongly as I do.

Maybe sometimes I can regulate my emotions a bit, but overall, why do I need to? Why can’t I just let myself cry or get angry?

I’ve been told before that I struggle with emotional regulation.

I disagree.

I would argue that too many people in this world underreact to assholeness, if I can coin that word, and injustice.

Too many people allow others to call them b*tches and avoid standing up to those considered to have power, such as doctors. Look at the story of Larry Nassar with the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal.

Maybe it’s important to keep our anger in check so as not to hurt others. Maybe it’s not helpful to cry in front of our patients at work. Apart from that though, why do we need to obsessively “regulate” our emotions? I would argue that it’s time we stop regulating them and let the pains of injustice be heard.

Congressman John Lewis said to those graduating from Emory University to “get in the way and get in trouble—good trouble.” This was a mandate to the world.

I second his mandate and also encourage all of you to share your emotions.

Let them out.

Let them be seen.

Stand up against injustice.

Let yourself cry.

Get angry.

Give yourself permission to be vulnerable.

Hold nothing back, and please, please, please

Stop regulating your emotions.

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