Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ladies’ Choice

I believe that emotions are best embraced not repressed. Emotions, after all, are neither good nor bad; they just are. So it’s good to feel those emotions—they’re proof that you’re still human, that you’re still alive. Feeling joy, sadness or anger towards someone are emotions. Feelings of infatuation—having a crush on someone—are also emotions.

I’ve also often heard the sentiment, best encapsulated in a song title: I can’t help falling in love with you. Is falling in love an emotion? We all like to say that we can’t help it. Sometimes we cannot even tell who we’re going to fall for. So falling in love appears to be an emotion that’s often outside of our control.

We’ve also heard the phrase “to control one’s emotions” which I believe is misleading. Controlling emotions can be problematic because what it entails is either repression or transference. I still believe that an honest acceptance of one’s emotions is the best way to deal with them. But what we do have control over are our decisions and actions, and how much we allow our emotions to affect our decisions and actions.

Let’s cite an example to clearly illustrate my point. When a stupid driver suddenly cuts into my lane while hurtling down EDSA, I often feel a sudden surge of road rage; that is the emotion generated by the situation. But what I do afterwards is something that’s totally within my control. When I was younger, I’d let my emotions affect me, and I’d honk angrily at the culprit while flooring the gas pedal to overtake the shmuck. But nowadays I’ve learned to just accept the anger and let it pass, without necessarily altering my driving. You cannot imagine the number of erring drivers that I have killed in my mind but who’ve escaped unscathed in real life. I’ve also learned to not retaliate but instead just allowed karma to take care of the road injustice done to me.

And that is why I personally am wary of falling in love without thinking; to me, it implies choosing to ignore self-awareness of one’s actions and their possible consequences. And an unexamined life is a sad thing in my book.

Of course, it’s possible that there are people whose emotional strength and fortitude are so formidable that they can survive a massive fall—they definitely are no emotional Humpty Dumpties. I know I’m not one of them.

And that is why I try to play my cards as wisely as I can. I do allow for making my own mistakes; in such instances, the line “without the hurt, the heart is hollow” comes to mind. But I’m through with recklessly throwing myself into it or playing things too safely to the point of being boring. When it comes to falling in love, I prefer the defensive driving approach.

(Then again, maybe I have yet to meet the other one who will have me driving in circles. Who knows?)

12 comments:

i'm a narnian said...

I think defensive driving is futile in the Philippines. Bus and jeepney drivers are a bane to society. Yuck, may anger.

Stephen Covey, ikaw ba yan?

joelmcvie said...

@NARNIAN: Dude, pare, 'tol, chong, bro... you need anger management. Yo!

rubypurple said...

You're right, you can't control your emotions but you can control your reaction...

Is everybody taking a plunge for love? love is a wonderful thing... hope the one finds you soon! ^^

joelmcvie said...

@RUBYPURPLE: Plunge? Nah. I don't believe in the One; I prefer the Many! LOL =)

MrCens said...

no wonder why you looked like 39 although your already 42, hehehe...

palma tayona said...

aie... such motes of thoughts injected in this post are but manifestations of a life lived long and well. hmmm, wise words such as what you've written can only come with age.

cheers!

joelmcvie said...

@MrCENS: Correction, 43 na po ako. =)

~Carrie~ said...

I like this post. Nakaka-relate, kasi ang bansag sa akin lately ng friends ko ay "best dramatic actor in a comedy series". Uringan awards. Chos.

Mr. Scheez said...

The EDSA driving example is sooo Freudian. =)

Like Carrie, I also like this post. =)

Ming Meows said...

iba naman ang analysis ko. lets do basketball. a good defense is a strong factor to win the game. but the number if goal attempts is very important to score points.

btw, can i be ur "offensive" manliligaw? hehe

joelmcvie said...

@MING: You attempt a goal when you're at the three-point line or nearer, and if there's no one blocking your shot. You'd be stupid to just attempt and attempt when you don't have a clear shot, or if you're way over the other side of the court. It's not the number of attempts, it's the quality.

Uhmmm I don't wanna presume, but I think a certain someone will take offense at your being "offensive". ;-)

Ming Meows said...

i think what im trying to point out is its better to take a shot than none at all. anyways, lets get over it.

napansin ko lang lately based on ur posts na nagiging buddha-ish ka. :)