To live with vitality and joy, we need to connect emotionally with ourselves and others.

Our self is embodied. It is not that we have a body, we are a body. Our emotions and feelings are felt experiences that give rise to our sense of self.

For one, they give us crucial information about our safety, our borders, our needs and desires. Living without being aware of what goes on inside is like navigating a busy market while deaf and blind.

But our feelings and emotions are not just actionable data. They form the basis of our relationships with others and the world. A shared affective bond tells us that we belong, that we matter, that we have a purpose and that we are seen, loved and blessed.

To be cut off from our feelings and emotions, means to be cut of from our humanity and our potential to grow.

Learn to be in touch

Many people seem to live this way. They are unable to identify their emotions. They do not feel their body clearly. They find it hard to express their inner state or close themselves off from the affection of others.

Or they focus their attention fully on their thoughts, work or the fleeting pleasures of food and drugs, because being present to themselves is unbearable or impossible.

It is not because these people are defective or sick. It is because they never learnt how to do it or because their past experiences taught them that it was unsafe to feel or be emotionally present.

We can learn to be in touch with ourselves and others. We can learn to feel what we feel and to express that when it matters in a safe and effective way. We can recover our embodied self and its infinite vitality.

Ilja van Roon

P.S. If you want to live with vitality and joy, read this blog about the power of your desires.