I was a numb-er. It’s super common for men to be numb-ers because we’re culturally programmed to reject most of our emotions not named anger. It’s somewhat more rare for women to be full numb-ers, but there are some. For women numbness is more likely to have come from a self-defense mechanism than cultural guidance, but even men’s culturally guided numbness is somewhat of a collective self-defense mechanism. We deeply want to be loved, understood, and accepted, but fear that that’s impossible. It’s feels much safer to stay numb and keep doing what everyone else is doing.
It’s going to take some time for emotional connection to come back, but it will. For those of us who feel numb, even if it’s culturally guided, we’ve put a lot of our insecurities behind the numbness. This is what allows us to keep doing things that we’re not fully excited by. Things like working at a dull job or not giving life our best. We keep taking the same actions because we don’t have the emotional self-connection to guide us in another direction.
If you’re taking this course and you’re a numb-er, it’s likely that you’re at the point where, consciously or unconsciously, you realize that being numb isn’t working for you.
This is a big deal, so appreciate that. This realization is a kind of emotional self-connection, so you’re already on the way. But it may be a slow process, and I want you to know that it’s worth it and that you will make it. The trick is to be patient, keep making space to connect with your emotions, and let what comes come. This isn’t a race, it’s a process. The only true end point is realizing that there isn’t an end point, after this you’re just flowing and growing.
One of the best paths to develop self-honesty and cultivate our emotional connection with ourselves is exploring the many ways in which we distract ourselves. While we may feel numb, distractions are also a tool for perpetuating numbness.