Whoever prides himself too much on having sustained no wound in the battle of life lays himself open to the suspicion that his fighting has been with words only, whilst actually he has remained far away from the firing line.
C.G. Jung, Psychology of the UnconsciousThe series examines physical and mental pain. The two are not so apart, for pain is not just a physical sensation -- it has biological, psychological and emotional factors. I am interested in examining what lies behind the veil of pretending, as I want to draw our attention to those invisible, yet deep and painful fissures we all live with. The hidden pain gains in strength particularly when we’re confronted with the “good vibes only” culture around us. The psychological harm resulting from suppressing negative emotions and projecting a positive image has been well documented, yet we feel compelled to conceal our struggles and suffering, which leads to isolation. Toxic positivity and the platitudes tied to it are more socially accepted than being open about how we feel. Neglected, loaded with shame, our fissures only deepen and harden. Humans don’t only seek pleasure, we also want to live meaningful lives and the path to that involves willingly experiencing pain, anxiety, and struggle. If meaningful living is, in Jung’s words, being on the “firing line”, then the wounds and fissures are honourable badges, our proof of embracing life fully.
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