The Danger of Suppressing Emotion

Could you imagine Mr. Rogers on death row? (with a fuchsia sweater of course) 

If I had coordinates leading me to the moon and I changed either one of those dials by a sliver, I’d end up on Mars. Same occurs when our lives begin to unconsciously shift by the unseen one percent. 

By this I’m not referring to those progressing dust-bunny clogged corners of our homes or the stray chin hair that appears mystically every three to fifty-nine days on my face. I’m talking about the all-too-personal material that torments us when who we’re living as is not a mirror image of who we are.  

In middle school, I looked like one of the cast members from the movie Dangerous Minds. Hip level windbreaker pants with basketball jerseys, licorice-black lipstick and hoop earrings the size of a melon graced my confused body. I knew Coolio was about to pop out of nowhere, and ready I was. While I felt wildly cool as a legend in my own mind, I also found myself disconnected, discouraged and despondent. 

Why? Because my semblance didn’t match my substance. 

That rough late 90’s appeal veiled a Dean Martin loving, pseudo-hippie who was into Adam Sandler movies, orange nail polish and fashion magazines. 

Like a mangosteen, which I just recently discovered thanks to Cotsco, you’d never know what was inside upon impression, yet unlike the meek mangosteen, the disparity within, disintegrated my soul like spoiled milk. Although many of us have voluntarily dropped out of the hard-knock league of status quo, many of us still chip a tooth regularly on the truth trail.

So what’s the big deal? 

If soul divorce had no wormy hook in our water, we could easily look the other way. But the insidious effects of the divided quicksand many of us try to climb out of daily, are astounding.  

Let me explain one effect with a simple example. 

I might feel angry and perhaps deny and say that I’m not. “All is good here, I’m perfectly fine.” 

The moment I am feeling something and pretending I’m not feeling it, my heart rate increases. Psychologically, although unconscious, I’ve already registered that I’m suppressing emotion which the mind registers as “inauthenticity.” This as an instinctual response translates as a THREAT so the warning alarms start to go off. 

Aware or not, when we’re living in a decoupled state from who we inherently are, our mind, emotions and spirit detect the split and slip into defense mode to protect from threat.

Same thing happens when we’re around animals like horses or sharks. Even if we appear cool as a cucumber, if suppressing a different feeling, the noise generated within will arouse a Walrus in Greenland.   

And while we might survive a few decades with this fracture, our spiritual DNA will demand change. If you haven’t already experienced its jolting contractions, you’ll soon be notified that a delivery is underway.

There’s a surplus of motives for our disparate lives of suppressed emotion. Perhaps fear of failure. Fear of inadequacy. Fear of going broke. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of regressing. Fear of losing. Fear of obstacles. Fear of judgment. Fear of exclusion. 

While these are painful pills to swallow, the price we’re paying to live in the artificial matrix of a “safe life” or worse, one contingent on the assessment of others, is one our souls don’t have a budget for. 

However, if we reside wholly and heartily in the wondrous place God has functionally curated for us, we’ll learn the lay of an island with infinite budget. And even better, we’ll finally realize that pill swallowing is included on any path we choose. So chucking those down is not an act to be avoided, but a skill to be honed.

I’ll be the first to admit that when left unchecked, some parts of my mind, heart, spirit and overall life start to drift even when I’m not moving because the elements around me always are. So even if I took after a bulletproof gargoyle, the corrosion of wind, fire and water will transmute my original form. 

So I’d like to share one of the ways I like to return to the ROOTS of how God intended my life to be farmed. The acronym stands for:


Many of us know what our (origin)ality is. Things we used to love to do, engage, be around. Things we were good at or wanted to develop further. Things others told us were hobbies or past-times but we’d never make a living doing. 

Some of us might’ve never had the opportunity to explore these at all and that’s okay. You can start now.

Over the next five days, I’d like to encourage you to sit for just 10-15 minutes per day with a pen and notebook. Each day as you open your notebook, write down the date and ask, “Holy Spirit speak…”

Day 1: 

Ask God’s Holy Spirit to reveal as many parts of you as you need to know right now. Whether those are attributes you once knew in the past or have never recognized, ask Him to show you. What colors do you love? Instruments, musicians, artists, authors, smells, foods, books, movies, magazines, places, etc. What things used to inspire you? What things did you look forward to in the past? 

Just jot everything down with no judgment. Simply observe and write. 

Day 2: 

Ask God’s Holy Spirit to give you an image, a symbol, a word or set of words. Again, don’t judge or doubt, “Is this me or is this God?” Just put down on paper whatever you’re internally picking up. (Note: if you don’t get anything specific within this time, be on the lookout throughout the day, or even in your dreams.) Just become a curious observer of life and what God might be communicating.

Day 3: 

Ask God’s Holy Spirit to give you an interpretation of what this image, symbol, word or set of words is. Simply sit there and write whatever you think this might be pointing to.

Day 4: 

Look over what you wrote down the past three days and begin to pray over that. Ask Jesus to show you what all this means? Ask Him to help you re-integrate into the person that you sincerely know or think you know you are. 

Day 5: 

Ask God’s Holy Spirit to give you a next step. Not a blueprint or a full-life gameplan, but a simple step. Ask where He’s leading you to next? What is one solid step that will get you closer to that re-integration with YOUR (ORIGIN)ALITY, not the tampered version of what you thought you had to become in order to survive. 

Although I’m sharing this as a 5-day process, I actually do this every day as part of my prayer time to stay on course with God’s personalized coordinates for me. I welcome you to try this for a month if you’d like to see how this magical process expands your confidence, creativity and clarity. 

As always beautiful, it’s a pleasure and honor to serve you.


The Danger of Suppressing Emotion

Oye Pappi, Ven Acá!

Are You Waffles or Spaghetti?