An emotional sneeze

Sneeze “or sternutation, is a semi-autonomous, convulsive expulsion of air from the lungs through the nose and mouth, usually caused by foreign particles irritating the nasal mucosa. A sneeze expels air forcibly from the mouth and nose in an explosive, spasmodic involuntary action resulting chiefly from irritation of the nasal mucous membrane.” (The Royal Wikipedia Source of Universal Knowledge)

Emotional sneeze, or the sudden outburst of tears (be them of joy, sadness, anger, or all together), in such a manner that not even the most controlled person could control the situation. The explosion, due to its unpredictable nature, can happen  in any location and can be triggered by any given thing: a poke, a joke, a mean remark, one too many tequilas, a photo, the memory of an untrue friend, a stare, a song, or nothing at all.

The possible causes of such a reaction may be: exposure to too much stress, existential confusion, painful memories, nostalgia, the fact that the day is too short and time goes by too fast, missing your grandma, a need to tease your little brother, excessive procrastination, strains of a new job, trying to grow up and not wanting to at the same time, pretending to be alright all the time, wanting to cry and explode and not allowing yourself to do so because you are so lucky and you have everything everyone could ever need or want, so you feel you do not have the right to be overwhelmed. Causes may change for every person and how they are dealt with also depend on each one’s ability to cope.

Technicalities apart, we all have the right to explode and cry our brains out every once in a while. We ought to. It’s healthy and absolutely necessary. No one should ever feel embarrassed about it or feel that we should and must keep it together at all times, because there are others in worse situations than us. But we should not compare each other’s  level of exhaustion, concern, solitude, sickness, sadness, as we cannot compare happiness. Who are we to say we suffer more, or are happier than the next person? It’s not a contest… though it certainly feels that way.

We are constantly competing, even when there is nothing to compete about, or there is nothing to be won. Be at the top, be the best, the prettiest, the most liked, the richest (I am totally generalizing, but it is very tempting, admit it!). Yet I have noticed that I don’t see too many people making an effort to be true, what ever that means. True to yourself, true to the ones that surround you, true to what is right, true to your conscience. You name it. True to what ever rings your bell…. and longs as it rings it. Cause if the bell doesn’t ring then it probably isn’t true.

Oh, truth. A very abstract concept, but as perceptible as you and me.

Anyway, I had en emotional (uncontrollable) sneeze in the middle of a bar last week. It was totally unintentional. I freaked out the two friends who where there with me. I tried to hide my face and ended up having to go out to the street to calm myself. I usually try to keep the drama to myself. I think most of us do. One ought not to give away negativity to other people. No one deserves that. Unless you need comfort and advice, in which case, this humble doctor recommends you to find a close friend’s shoulder (correction, a true friend) to lean on. Even the supermarket lady will do in cases of emergency.

Before the sneeze there was a trigger, It was easy to identify. Maybe it was something that otherwise wouldn’t have been so bad, otherwise I mean not in a situation where you have accumulated too many things in your body for a long period of time and you are a ticking time bomb. So it all came out, from the deepest place of my being and lungs and heart. BAM! Emotional sneeze! Salt, water, buggers, grin, ugliness… I might as well have transformed into a slug.

But it had to happen. I felt it coming and trying to stop it only made it worse. People have to cry.  Grown ups have to cry too, and we don’t have to cry alone if we don’t want to. It is not childish to hug your mom until the storm has passed. What are we here for if not to hold each other? So many humans in the world, so many of us focused on hating (we don’t even know what or who we hate), that we forget we can hold each other as well. Ok, that sounded very Deepak-Chopra-ky. But there is something true in clichés, or cliché sounding remarks.

(Kindness, you know? It’s contagious)

So, to conclude, this doctor prescribes that you sneeze. With all our being. And preferably before it becomes an unavoidable explosion (though if it does turn into one, go with it). If you feel it coming, let go and enjoy the intensity. Feel as much and as intensely as you want. Well, I suppose that is the only way to feel, right? Let yourself emotionally sneeze. And even if your real sneeze is not loud enough, start working on that. Sneeze as loud as you can, otherwise all those  fluids will go directly to your brain and you’ll die, or something like that. If you scare the person next to you you get a bonus. The same happens with the contained emotional sneeze. Consider yourself warned.

For more information about this human phenomenon feel free to consult the Blackbird Book Of Daily Thoughts On Whatever Comes To Mind