I’m of the opinion that there are far too few words for the different kinds of feelings, sensations and emotions we go through. Why, for example, is there only one word for emotion, while it contains an entire world with subtle and vigorous differences? It’s weird, because emotions occupy a notable aspect of our existence. By not naming them, we keep them covered under a surface where they stay until they are dug out by whoever finds the access.
The one I am going to discuss now is probably my favourite. I’ll call it exglow, but if you have a better word, feel free to use that one instead. I think, I hope that everyone experiences it once in a while. It’s a sudden, usually brief, very localized , but also very present sensation right below my belly button. It’s not a pressure, rather a release. It is about the size of a walnut, but with less defined contours. Sometimes when it happens, it contracts my attention into some kind of light. I can see it, but not in a day-to-day-visual way. It seems, rather, that because the sensation is so strong, it temporarily blurs my sight, while my mind directs at the point it comes from. Very often, it feels like the start of something new. As if a seed germinates. I don’t always notice a change afterwards, though.
At times, but not always, the feeling radiates through to my eyes, which then release a single tear, sometimes more. Other times, it causes a pressure somewhere above my belly button, could be anywhere. I seem to suppress it then, but I don’t know how. Or it doesn’t give a pressure, but it flows upwards along my chest and nipples towards my shoulders. Those are all effects of the feeling, though, not the feeling itself.
Several things trigger exglow in me. They all have to do with a shift. Films can do it, and more specifically, instances of breakthrough. It could be the infamous declaration of romantic love, but it can also happen during revolutionary breakthroughs, such as in the courtroom during Erin Brokovich or sometimes when I see the ‘I have a dream’ speech. More individual revelations do it too, for example in Blue Jasmine, and, very memorable, Doubt. If you’ve seen them, you’ll know which instants I mean. Revelations. One more side note: I if I watch the films again, I don’t necessarily feel exglow again. The surprise element plays an important role.
For me, exglow also occurs during empathic moments with friends, for some reason mostly with women. Sometimes the trigger is a change in emotional charge between us, or sometimes either of us went through some personal transition. It can also happen when I’m looking into someone’s eyes, and I feel that person is looking back. I usually can’t invoke it though.
Once, during a dream, I felt it for the longest period I can remember. I was in a courtyard of a ruin and I saw a shiny object hover from the right side to the left. Much like a small star with a glow that was terracotta and green. The whole dream had those colours. I ran towards it, jumped into it and kind of merged with it. As we flew at bit further together, I felt exglow very vividly. It is one of the most beautiful dreams I had.
What I think is very remarkable, is that apparently for this emotion -if that’s what it is- it does not matter if the trigger is real. After all, it happens during films and dreams as lively as during real life events, or even if I just imagine those events, for example when I write. Still, it is a very physical sensation, and it can even motivate me to do certain things or ascribe a certain value to a relationship. Isn’t that interesting?
And it has a scary part too. If I am so easily moved by exglow, all you’d need to do to steer my life in a direction, is to give the suggestion that triggers it in me. Is that why we naturally keep people at a distance? I don’t know, but as I said, I think more openness about this topic wouldn’t hurt.