jack-in-the-box

Let’s start with
a jack-in-the-box.
The jack – the toy –
represents a feeling;
a particular feeling
that we’re currently trying
not to feel.
Don’t feel sad.
Don’t cry.
Don’t get so angry.
Don’t be upset.
Don’t be shy.
Don’t feel nervous.
Everything’s ok.
Contain your feelings.
Cover them up.
Put them in this box.
And make sure you shut the lid.
So we shut the lid.
But it’s not easy.
We’re met with
resistance.
The resistance doesn’t dissipate either,
it just lingers there below the surface.
Our feelings – the jack –
enter into this
constant state of instability; 
one that only appears to be stable
when the lid is shut.
Because we don’t want to feel our feelings, right? –
the dark,
all-consuming,
disturbing,
overwhelming,
and at times, even incomprehensible feelings?
They’re powerful,
and they have the ability to
scare us,
and fuck us up.
So for the most part,
a lot of us
would rather tape the lid shut.
But turns out, resistive forces
actually get more powerful in time.
To the point that they can unexpectedly
bust through the tape,
without us even turning the goddamn handle. 
And we get a little more fucked up, 
or so it seems.
Yes, we feel unsteady and unstable,
but we soon realize,
it’s only temporary.
Because the force
that we thought was resistance,
was actually restorative.
The jack is out-of-the-box.
It swings and bounces around for a while,
but then it eventually slows.
And before we know it,
it starts to steady itself
and begins to stand still; 
outstretched in its natural state 
and forever uncontainable. 

Photo by Olga Thelavart on Unsplash 

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