Rancid Emotions

Chunks of water from my essence slips

Setting my heartbeat into rewind.

With a heart heavy, my eyes spits

Rancid emotions, my teeth I grind. ─ Alozor Michael Ikechukwu

Sometimes experiencing a particular emotional state over and over again seems to produce a rancid emotion. The word rancid is from the Latin rancidus ‘stinking.’ As an example just think of butter that is rancid. It is old and stale.  If you happen to get a taste on your tongue it leaves a stinking taste in your nose and mouth. It sure does not have the clean, clear, and freshly made delicious butter quality. Rancid emotions are unpleasant and rank as they are decomposing in a person. Because of these emotions sometimes a person will make a “stink.”

At times, clients have indicated that they feel rankled by a festering emotion and a persistent irritation or resentment that has embittered their life. They want to be free of the gall that needles them daily.

Such strong lingering emotions such as sorrow, hate, fear, anger can sour people over time. I’ve chosen the following nursery rhyme, 3 Little Kittens, to convey a feeling essence.

This Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme talks about crying in the form of meeowing as the kittens experience frustration, sadness, badness, naughtiness, anger, regret, loss, and sorrow and finally finding a just reward of approval.

3 Little Kittens

Three little kittens they lost their mittens, and they began to cry,”Oh mother dear, we sadly fear that we have lost our mittens.” “What! Lost your mittens, you naughty kittens! Then you shall have no pie.” “Meeow, meeow, meeow, now we shall have no pie.” The three little kittens they found their mittens, And they began to cry, “Oh mother dear, see here, see here For we have found our mittens.” “Put on your mittens, you silly kittens And you shall have some pie” “Meeow, meeow, meeow, Now let us have some pie.” The three little kittens put on their mittens And soon ate up the pie, “Oh mother dear, we greatly fear That we have soiled our mittens.” “What! Soiled your mittens, you naughty kittens!” Then they began to cry, “Meeow, meeow, meeow” Then they began to sigh. The three little kittens they washed their mittens And hung them out to dry, “Oh mother dear, do you not hear That we have washed our mittens.” “What! Washed your mittens, you are good kittens.” But I smell a rat close by, “Meeow, meeow, meeow” we smell a rat close by…

Interpretation

A therapeutic resolution to rancid emotional states is about being heard and listened to. It is possible that the crying as a mee ow is really an expression that means me or my own hurt that is an ouchy or owie inside of oneself. Often the feeling of loss of a protective caring causes the kittens to meeow. Cats and kittens can represent young or mature independent instinctual possibilities within a person. A person’s own instinctual nature and nurturing self-care helps one to find relief as the person seeks to understand the emotional state that they were captured by. Food is often associated with taking in comfort and love. The pie that the mother cat made might be a symbol of feeding you love and self acceptance. The kittens start to take care of themselves when they take off their mittens and wash them thereby cleaning things up. They ask their mother cat to hear that. Then she calls them good and gives them the approval and validation that they need. This might be approving in a mature way of one’s self. At the end the mother cat smells a rat and the kittens may sense that they have to go out into the daily rat race of life. There is the need to take care of their own feelings now as they struggle with their encounters with the ratty things in life.

“To awaken to the living dream within one’s life and remain awake involves repeated struggle, yet also presents something truly worth fighting for. Each individual soul has its share of genius and a core of imagination that can transcend the collective anxiety and the chaos in the world.”  ─ Michael Meade


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