Catharsis: Better Out than In – Part 1

better out than in

Purging negative emotions for a better life…
It is better out than in’ is an expression that pretty much contains the essence of both cure and healing. For example: if you have a phlegmy cough, you will want to expel that phlegm any way you can. In other words – it’s better out than in. If you have constipation, you want that poop out. Again, – it is better out than in. If you have food poisoning and diarrhoea, well you want those irritants out of your body, so once more – its better out than in.  Perhaps I need to think of better examples. I’m sorry, but I’m British, we like out toilet humour.

‘Better out than in’ also applies to emotions. If we have a great hurt, or strong emotion like sorrow, anger or depression. These emotions may suit a purpose for a while, but eventually we want them out of us. Otherwise, they will start to damage us.

Even minor irritations and frustrations from daily life are ‘better out than in’ as they can plant a small seed, which can slowly poison our whole body. It is a little similar to the way a homeopathic remedy is said to contain an essence of a toxic substance which, whilst being barely perceptible in a test tube – will have an energetic effect on the whole organism. So it is the same with negative emotions.

We absorb energy from the world

Humans are energetic-flowing creatures. We don’t realise it, but we are constantly taking in stuff from the environment. If we could accurately measure the energetic frequencies of emotions, we would probably find them no different to radio waves or wifi. Where what we would normally see as empty space between two people arguing, there could in fact be lots of swirling energetic-ripples whizzing through the air between them. Some of them sharp and stabbing.

Is such an idea so impossible to imagine? If you walk into a room with angry people, you will feel that tension. That anger will get absorbed by you. If you watch the TV drama Eastenders, that negative anger from the show will be transmitted into you. You may be driving along and then suddenly someone in a car behind you gets impatient and honks their horn or shouts at you. You absorb their negative feeling.

Haunted Houses

There are houses where gruesome murders are committed, which decades later cannot be sold on. No one wants to live there. For example, there is a house close by to me in Muswell Hill in North London, where a serial killer committed a lot of murders and then did some nasty things afterwards to the bodies. Quite understandably, there is not much demand for this property. Now and again, it is advertised for rent, but the agents specifically have to tell everyone that it has a gruesome history. So a lot of the time it sits empty, and this is in one of the most in-demand parts of London, right in the middle of a property boom and housing shortage!

So even though these acts occurred decades ago, the memories still remains in the minds of other people and neighbours. This then creates a kind of negative vibrational field around the house – a kind of stuck stagnant energy. Perhaps, if you lived there, you may get sick. In this case, the house probably needs to be purged of its past memories. It needs a catharsis or purification. Or at least to be rebuilt.

Releasing stuff: Better out than in

It is best to expel any bad stuff that you feel, otherwise it will damage your body and mind. It flows in easily enough, so let it flow out again as though you are a river. Remember – it is better out than in. Of course it is easy to say this. There are a lot of pressures in daily life and we are not all monks. Still we must do our best.

Chronic Diseases

On a deeper level, the ‘better out than in’ can relate to health issues and especially chronic diseases. These are illnesses which we have, but cannot seem to get rid of no matter what we do. We may take lots of medications, have surgery and yet we may still have the problem. We may even have altered our diets or spent thousands on natural therapies, yet that disease sticks with us.

In this situation, we cannot get it out. It is as though the disease has become a natural part of us. I won’t discuss about this too much in this article as it is a deeper issue. However, the ‘better out than in’ is the beginning point of healing. It is mental habit and attitude that we must learn. It is like the first level. And just like a computer game, you cannot beat the final boss until you have completed the first level. By playing the first level, you slowly build your skill and resilience you need to tackle the final boss. ‘Better out than in’ is the first level.

Life is full of annoying things

As you will know – life is full of many difficulties. Frustrations, failures and losses are a part of life. There are many wonderful things in life, but it is the difficulties that really have the largest impact and cause the greatest disturbances in our lives. Some problems like the loss of a job, failing an exam or breaking up with someone – are instances that we can usually survive from, relatively intact. But other problems can be much more harder to deal with and can threaten our wellbeing at a fundamental level.

Things like severe financial difficulties, addictions, dealing with past hurts, abuse, difficult family relations, divorce as well as severe diseases, long-term health problems and the loss of someone close to us, – tend to have a greater impact. However, they also carry within them, a greater potential for personal transformation and change. Life is about change and sometimes the greater the stressor, the greater the change will come to us. And perhaps the greater a stress you are faced with, leads to a greater amount of success potential.

A Personal Example

In my early twenties I got really sick. An acute inflammatory condition, known as ulcerative colitis struck me pretty hard. I was hospitalised and given strong courses of steroids and antibiotics. I recovered but the experience knocked my whole life off course. There are a lot of things I took from this experience, but at the time, I was more curious as to the ‘why’ I got sick. Western Medical explanations such as “we don’t know what the cause is, it may be genetic” were disappointingly un-insightful. So I looked to myself for the answers.

Before I had gotten sick, I’d been suffering from a build up of intense negative emotions for years previously. Emotions like anger, frustration, feelings of failure and so on had been a major part of my life. This may have seemed unimportant to my doctors, but to me, I felt it was quite relevant. Some of these kinds of emotions are quite typical for young men and woman, but I feel it was this combined with poor diet, a somewhat reckless lifestyle and other factors, which made my body a fertile ground for this disease.

Looking back, I had a lot of bad stuff in me. It would have been better out than in. So that’s what my body did. This disease occurred and then I had no choice but to release it all by passing blood in my stool about 40 times throughout the day and night. Sounds kind of gross, right? I don’t miss those days.

The gentler path

I think it would be better if there was an easier way to let it out, rather than wait till it builds up and destroys your bodies tissues. Well it can be. We have to learn to purge ourselves from time to time and to invite catharsis into our lives. It is not necessary for everyone. But if you feel you are bubbling over like a pressure cooker, about to explode, but the cook has left the kitchen, than perhaps it’s time for a catharsis. If we leave it too long, that intense heat and stuck emotion may lead to a far more serious disease.

There are experiences in our life that take a toll on us. We go through them, deal with them, than bottle them up somewhere deep inside. But their effects are still there within us. We may carry stuck emotions with us all throughout life.

Continue to Part 2…

In part 2, I will discuss more about purging. And no more toilet jokes.


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