Emotions that Lack Names (And Sorely Need Them)

emotions lack names

Ever feel like you’re the still point of a turning world?

Is there a word for that? We need one.

What about the giddy bliss of freedom and expectation that comes with a completely unscheduled day. As compared to the freedom one feels when relaxed, when receptive, when we see all things brightly.

The power like holding your child and feeling super, greater than physics.

What’s the word for the disgust we feel when we see something we hate and do not realize it is our reflection?

The power felt when you stand up for what is right, quietly, powerfully. It’s the opposite of the overwhelming impotence that comes from a slag heap of eternal mediocrity.

Hoping that more into being.

What about the tension and confusion when your mind’s eye and your eye’s eye see differently. A mismatched memory, perhaps? What’s that word… aphasia?

Nothing like the satisfaction from the unexpected, unanticipated, but wholly accepted success of winning something you know you deserve. Different from the satisfaction of sneezing, scratching an itch, or Q-tipping your ears. How do words to separate physical satisfaction from emotional?

What about fear that masquerades as anger which is clocked in sarcasm and criticism.

So many emotions lack names and sorely need them. Words need to work harder.

What’s it called when you feel the top of your head might pop off in the middle of a workday? Or at dinner? The fear of the improbable. Different from the fear of the probable, like missing someone you just met but already know you love and of whom you will have to let go.

I always wanted a word for the fear and doubt of becoming my parents, threaded with the certainty (and pleasure) that I already have.

Is there a phobia for that? No, because it’s rational, a fear with certainty. Is that the same fear with certainty that whatever it is, it will never be enough? We feel this about others but never recognize it in ourselves. Because, unlike others, we have hope.

Hope that there will always be another…  Another song to dance to, another book to read excitedly, another friend to trust. Another love.

If that hope fades, what replaces it? Does that emotion have a name?

Feels like loneliness, perhaps, yet that varies, too.

Our emotional taxonomy falls short.

It’s not the same kind of loneliness that comes from being surrounded by people who don’t understand. Not unlike the sadness and suggested tragedy of a helium balloon loosely tied to an unconcerned wrist. There is fear there, too, perhaps fear of sadness.

The feeling of being let down.

Like the overwhelming urge to find a vessel to carry forward all your hopes and dreams.

The frenzied feeling with which we align and control our lives in the absence of being able to align and control ourselves or the world around us.

And from that frenzy comes anxiety, a special kind: being anxious about being anxious.

We forget, perhaps, to stop and think, to feel, that one season has definitively ended. Another begun. Lifting up the curtain of summer and finding autumn rehearsing in the wings. Something so beautiful, so melancholic, and above all, so reassuring in its predictability.

Is there a word for that?

It recalls another emotion without name: the overwhelming hope, sorrow, and calcification as we shut ourselves down, hoping that we let ourselves back out, and let other things back in.

Feelings do not require perfection, statement, nor even understanding.

They require existence.



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