Posted on February 8, 2019
by Steve Janowick

This is how I envision it.

Seven to ten tiny men, each dressed according to his corresponding emotion or proclivity.  Love is dressed in a nice, cashmere sweater and a pair of perfectly pressed khakis. Deep Thinker has messy hair and his wired rimmed spectacles are just a little too big for his narrow face and wrinkled brow line. Aggression is proudly rocking his mullet and sporting a cheesy barb-wired tat around his biceps.  And Mr. Horny? Well, he’s tired off all the complaints from the others. They don’t really care for his pirouetting around all day in the nude while manicuring his mustache and listening to smooth jazz.

These are just a few of the dudes living inside my head, each taking up residence in his own unique room, his own compartment, jockeying for position, vying for the forefront of my frontal lobe.  Trying to be the one mingling in the lobby bar that is the hotel in my head.

Our ability to compartmentalize our emotions and feelings is one of the characteristics that makes us uniquely men.  Only one at a time is allowed to dominate our thoughts. A blessing or a curse, this tendency to not let disparate feelings or moods jumble together and muck up our actions is what allows us to be rational, level-headed and stay organized in our heads.

But on the flip side, if one of the little men (like lust or anger) is having his way and spending too much time in the lobby bar-running up a tab and just being obnoxious-it could spell trouble.

Ted Bundy, that charming serial-killer from the 70’s, swore that his ability to rigidly compartmentalize his feelings is what lead to his sicko killing spree.  He always had the capacity for empathy and love, he claimed. But they were impotent whenever lust, power or anger were in the forefront of his thoughts. He was able to keep the bad stuff locked tightly in its compartment to carry out all that vile rape and murder-and not allow any of the good feelings to kick them out.

That’s an example of a severe mental and sociological deficiency that 99.9% of us are immune to.  But we all possess some level of neurosis that affects how we sectionalize the feelings in our lives.  You can have a fleeting thought of your loving grandmother or the birth of your children and start to immediately cry with powerful feelings of belonging and love.  And ten seconds later? You could be in the bathroom having a date with Rosie Palmer and her five sisters after seeing a few seconds of a bikini contest on TV. Ten minutes after that you’re pondering the meaning of the universe while reading Nietzsche.

And so on and so on…

We are able to shut off one set of feelings and immediately replace them with another-with no lingering residuals.

And that’s part of being a man, man!  And learning to accept and live with this “power”; learning to harness it for the purposes of good-for yourself and all in your orbit-is the key to a well-balanced, mentally healthy life.

All you have to do is keep your cerebral crew in check.

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