Let emotions run their course? 不要压抑情绪

2021.05.14

Reader question:

Please explain this sentence, with “run their course” in particular: “Is it better to regulate your emotions or to let them run their course?”

My comments:

It’s a great question.

I mean, it’s a great question to ask whether it is better to regulate your emotions or to let them run their course.

My immediate reaction is, regulate however you will, but try not to stop your emotions completely. You can’t. Emotions cannot be suppressed completely, not for long at any rate. If you try to suppress an emotion for long, it may come out in another form, perhaps more harmfully.

Nice and polite people are known to be able to throw a tantrum, for example. They are fully capable of it, of course, just that they’re often too polite and nice to show it when they’re angry and upset. However, when it becomes too much to bear, they’ll let it all out in a big way, surprising everybody around.

We’ve all seen it happen. All the pent-up anger accumulated over the past comes out, like lava coming out of a volcano if you know what I mean.

That sounds like an exaggeration but I hope you get the idea.

The point is, regulate your emotions but don’t suppress them altogether – especially don’t pretend that they’re not there.

Treat your emotions like a river and let it run its course.

That’s my take on the matter anyway.

One of the greatest Taoist teachings is that nature let things run their course. That is, their natural course.

Course, of course, refers to the course of a river.

Every big river in the world has its origin and its termination, or its beginning and its end.

Great rivers, be it the Amazon or the Yangtze, run their course through high mountains in the beginning and flat low lands in the final stages before emptying themselves into the sea.

You can erect a dam to block their way, but you cannot stop any of the big rivers from flowing on altogether. Downward and forward they will go, sometimes roaring, sometimes gently humming along, by day and by night, nonstop, all the way to their destiny.

So, in short, to let things run their course is to recognize that all things have a natural life cycle of their own. So let them be, let them live and then, eventually, let them die.

Do or die, in other words, on their own – without too much outside interference.

All right, here are media examples of things running or being allowed to run their course:

1. Mary-Kate Olsen and her husband, Olivier Sarkozy, split as he moved his ex-wife into their Hamptons mansion to protect her and their kids from the pandemic, multiple sources confirmed to Page Six.

Former “Full House” star Olsen, 33, officially filed for divorce from French banker Sarkozy, 50, when New York courts reopened Monday to new cases following coronavirus closures.

But sources exclusively told Page Six the pair — who were married for five years — split in April as Sarkozy moved his ex-wife, Charlotte Bernard, their two children and his mother from New York City into the five-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot Bridgehampton mansion he shared with Olsen.

One source told us, “Olivier was concerned for the safety of his family in New York during the pandemic. He insisted to Mary-Kate that he wanted to bring his ex-wife, their kids and his mother from the city, to their Bridgehampton home.”

The source added, “Maybe French people culturally have a different view of marriage, and while Mary-Kate loves his children, it was too much to have his ex-wife living with them during the pandemic. Would you want the ex-wife living with you for an unforeseeable amount of time in the middle of a crisis?”

A second source added, “The moment MK drove out of the driveway in April, Olivier had his mother, kids, and wait for this … Charlotte, his ex-wife, move in to keep them in a safer place, away from COVID.

“There’s no romance between Charlotte and Olivier, he wants to keep everyone (including Charlotte) safe from COVID.

“It was not uncommon for Charlotte to be around and stay in a separate bedroom in the Hamptons on holidays or birthdays. They have two kids and have always put them first. In their French way, family comes first, even with a divorce. Charlotte was even at Olivier’s wedding to Mary-Kate.”

As for the problems in Olsen and Sarkozy’s marriage, “It was simply erosion … growing apart. No cheating or betrayals … sometimes couples just run their course. The plan to move in his family was his way of moving on, and the final straw for Mary-Kate.”

- Olivier Sarkozy moved ex-wife into home amid Mary-Kate Olsen split, PageSix.com, May 27, 2020.

2. You would think that after all the backlash and repeated criticism from all over the sports world — and beyond — that the Las Vegas Raiders and their ownership would, at the very least, delete the tone-deaf tweet about the Derek Chauvin verdict.

But no. As of Wednesday morning, it is still active on the Raiders’ Twitter feed.

Owner Mark Davis took responsibility for the statement and told The Athletic’s Tashan Reed that “if [he] offended the family [of George Floyd], then I’m deeply, deeply disappointed.”

Then, he added the tweet won’t be deleted.

“I will not delete it,” Davis told Reed. “I could unpin it and let it run its course. It’s already out there. That’s the risk you take any time you put anything on Twitter: It’s out there for life. Because people are retweeting it and keeping it and doing all that stuff with it. … I rarely, rarely post stuff, but I’m not into erasing something. It’s not an apology. I’m not embarrassed by what I said, but I did learn something now. So, I learned something. I learned that cops were wearing T-shirts saying that. And that’s a negative.”

That doubling-down makes this so much worse.

The statement of “I CAN BREATHE” used by the franchise was one adopted by supporters of the New York Police Department seven years ago, when the focus was on another entirely different police killing — that of Eric Garner. A group of NBA players — including LeBron James — had worn “I CAN’T BREATHE” t-shirts after Garner was heard saying that phrase 11 times on video during an arrest that would leave him dead.

So this phrase is already deeply tainted, with its own trauma rooted in other death. Either Davis forgot about that, never realized it in the first place or doesn’t care — and none of those answers is satisfactory.

- The Raiders’ refusal to delete their awful Derek Chauvin tweet is making it so much worse, USAToday.com, April 21, 2021.

3. President Joe Biden said in an interview aired Tuesday that Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo should resign if an investigation confirms the allegations of sexual harassment against him.

Asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos if Cuomo should step down if the investigation confirms the allegations, Biden replied, “Yes.”

“I think he’ll probably end up being prosecuted, too,” Biden said.

The President added that “a woman should be presumed telling the truth and should not be scapegoated and become victimized by her coming forward.”

“Takes a lot of courage to come forward,” he said. “So, the presumption is they should be taken seriously. And it should be investigated. And that’s what’s underway now.”

The comments from Biden mark his most explicit repudiation of Cuomo since multiple women made allegations of sexual harassment or unwanted advances against the New York governor. They came in an interview with Stephanopoulos in which Biden encouraged migrants not to come to the US as a crisis unfolds at the country’s southwestern border -- with thousands of unaccompanied children now in federal custody -- and he expressed openness to changing the Senate’s filibuster rule for the first time.

Cuomo, asked about the President's comments during a teleconference call Wednesday, said, “If you committed a crime, you can be prosecuted. That’s true. But what President Biden said was we should do an investigation.”

The President, Cuomo continued, “said there should be a review. I agree with him on that.”

Biden had said Sunday that he wants to see what comes of the investigation into the allegations when asked if the Democratic governor should resign.

“I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us,” the President told reporters. White House chief of staff Ron Klain echoed Biden’s comments later Sunday evening, telling MSNBC that the investigation “ought to run its course.”

“What the President said is that there’s a process. These charges are very serious charges. They ought to be investigated and that process ought to run its course,” Klain said, later adding that the women making the allegations “have a right to be heard.”

- Biden says Cuomo should resign if investigation confirms sexual harassment allegations, CNN.com, March 17, 2021.

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About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)

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