Saturday, February 9, 2013

An Exercise We Should All Consider......As People and as Authors


               A little back ground. This was an exercise my psychologist suggested. At first I scoffed at it, as I often do at anything that seems an exercise in futility.  But having gone back and looked at it over time, while my observations of myself have not changed, I have found that this organization of thought has helped me to develop as a person and a writer. Understanding ones self is the key to everything and I believe this was a great step.
               The Exercise was to picture your emotions as living breathing entities.  All traveling on a bus, they are the passengers, and you potentially the driver. To take them and describe them as you see them. It has been enlightening. You should try it!
The Passengers

             First of all it must be taken into consideration that in order to do this, I actually went looking for definitions and a list of Emotions, as I have a hard time expressing them, I had to know something of them before I could give any kind of description to them. They are alphabetical, as it was a more simple way of running through them, although I tried to place them in locals on the bus. For those that I could not connect with, I have left their definitions or a comment to their vagueness.

Anger: The disruptive 80’s punk rocker. (Symbolic of those looked down on at the time of its development) With spiked hair, leather and piercings, he is aggressive and tends to overshadow everyone else, leaving them as a low din in the background as he blasts his portable stereo. He sits in the front, not allowing those who would do better here space. He tends to take up more than his fair share of seats.
Anxiety: Stays toward the back of the bus, fidgeting with their hair or clothes. Constantly staring about, waiting for the next thing to pop up, while trying desperately to breathe. Always leaves seats between them and anyone else, making a point of moving if anyone gets inside the bubble.
Compassion: Sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help. (I do not know how to approach this one. As I am told time and again that I have none.) That said I can only imagine, a shapeless figure, bound and gagged, located in one of the storage compartments over head.
Confusion: A tall misshapen woman, who sits and stands on a whim, unsure if her stop has come. Typically asks the others where her glasses are, only to find them on her head, or in her hand.
Depression: A soft spoken character, who will sit if there is a seat, often tripped up by our lady Confusion, his face is drawn and dark circles are readily present under his tired eyes, caused by years of restless sleep. He rides around with the knowledge that he’s on the wrong bus, but is in no way compelled to get a transfer. As that would mean having to actually open his mouth to someone else, who probably wouldn’t hear him anyhow.
Empathy: Is not a passenger in the literal sense. It is the one way glass of the windows, which mirrors the passengers, intangible to those outside, and only occasionally noticed by those within.
Envy: An unkempt character resentful of those who have shoved him aside to gain an undeserving seat.  
Euphoria: Her appearance is rare and fleeting; usually she has come and gone before anyone can appreciate her presence. A Will O’ Wisp, or other Fey, who dances wildly about, uncaring if her steps are wrong, as no one can hear the music in her head; they couldn't tell if they were anyhow.
Fear: An ominous figure, flitting from one passenger to another, leaving a cold and empty feeling in its wake. It is broken and tattered, often thrashed about as the bus moves on its course.
Forgiveness: One of the few children on the bus. She is small, but only because she has short legs, for she has a commanding presence with her hopeful gaze. She is unafraid of those passengers at the front of the bus and will often sit by them.
Frustration: Tends to hang out in the middle of the bus, a friend to Anger, often encouraging him to turn up the music. He is a tormentor to Envy, habitually goading the characters to extremes in order to distract them of his short comings.
Guilt: An awareness of having done wrong or committed a crime, accompanied by feelings of shame and regret.  (This was another problem for me.) Represented by a pompous gait, she is not well noticed, and the bus drives by her, for which she is glad, as she would rather walk any day.
Hatred: (Understand that I don’t actually hate anyone or thing.) But… if hate were on this bus, she would sit right in Anger’s lap, live in his house and share in his taste in all things. Her true nature would be of Violence, as she would be more capable of it than Anger.
Hope: Brother of Forgiveness often found in close proximity, although he will go wherever he feels he is needed. He looks out the window regularly with one eye while keeping the other on everyone else.
Joy: feelings of great happiness or pleasure, Ever the Carebear.  Sunshine and rainbows follow this little character around, as it is tossed like a ball between the siblings Hope and
Forgiveness, when dropped it turns grey and rolls down the back of the bus towards Depression, but is often kicked back into play by the jostling of the bus.
Love: Is an old woman, veiled in a hooded cloak who slumbers peacefully, often missing her stop, only to be awakened by the driver at the end of the day when she is finally noticed as the bus pulls into the depot for the night.
Rage: If Anger and Hatred were to reproduce, this would be the fruits of their labor. A spoiled and rambunctious child, that with all of its demanding constantly stomps its steel toe shoed feet, tearing apart the seats and being encouraged by its parents as it wails and screams.
Regret: a feeling or expression of sorrow and guilt for a past action or event that you now wish had not happened or had happened differently. That said, he hangs out with Guilt on the side of the road attached to his hip would be Remorse.
Sadness: Would be a hermit crab, constantly carrying around its safe haven, retreating to it whenever any of the other passengers come close by. 
Trust: The last child on board. He is strong, and hard to sway. He is often seen as na├»ve in his thought process, he is easy to befriend. Even after being shown that his choices in those friendships may be false, he holds firm to his loyalty and looks to Forgiveness and Hope, for strength.
I hope that you found this to be something of use. It has been a helping hand for me. As Always I am fluttering from this place to that. If you enjoyed this please feel free to comment! Share and let others know that there is always a safe place to communicate and be. Here in my walls all are welcome.

Happy Writing!

September 18 2012