It’s Like

Yesterday, I lost my English Bulldog companion of 15 years.  And it’s been more difficult than I expected.  As I was reading this book on the Dark Night of the Soul by Thomas Moore, it said you should try to describe your intense emotions in metaphors versus literally.   And this is what I have come up with so far…
                                It’s like…
It’s like the dizziness you feel from spinning in circles.
It’s like finding your first gray hair.
It’s like living in a country where you don’t understand the language.
It’s like a first break up.
It’s like breaking a bone, which you feel will never heal.
It’s like learning to use crutches.
It’s like visiting your childhood home.
It’s like a late January day in England, where the sunsets are at 3 :30 pm.
It’s like letting the world see you without makeup.
It’s like struggling to get onto another flight after yours was cancelled.
It’s like getting lost and not having cell service or a GPS.
It’s like driving on an empty tank, wondering if you will make it to the next gas station.
It’s like endless vomiting after a night out drinking.
It’s like a 100 degree day without air conditioning.
It’s like a yeast infection.
It’s like losing your appetite because you lost your sense of taste.
It’s like 24 hours of no sleep. 
It’s like standing on a crowded train at rush hour for a long commute. 
It’s like knowing you will never hear your favorite song again.
Metaphors can’t convey the pain, loneliness, and distance I feel from myself losing him.
 
-

Positif ou Négatif

The other day in French class we were learning various adjectives for emotions or character traits: triste, agreable, serieux, desagreable.  We had to quantify if these words were positive or negative.  We got to a word “orgueilleux,” which according to google means “proud.”  A classmate noted, “c’est positif.”  The teacher disagreed, and the student looked at the class, shrugged his shoulders and said “depends.”  The teacher then shared that it means more than proud, it means “arrogant.”  This is pride discussed in the way Jane Austen would back in the day.  So the class agreed, “c’est negatif.”  

It’s interesting as a psychologist, to sit in a classroom and label emotions as “bad or good.”  This is what we are trying to get away from in society, as all emotions should be welcome.  There’s a time and place for sadness, anger, joy, and seriousness.  But I understand, we are doing this exercise, solely as a learning experiment.  The images shown to describe the emotions were the universal language of emojis. 

 

When you are in a beginners language class, generally there is no room for debate or philosophical discussion.  It’s basically a time for memorization, particularly if the words are positif or negatif, or feminin ou masculin.