I write and talk a lot about ways we can feel better in our lives. I believe that when you feel better, happier, less stressed, you do better and have more to give.
But, I don’t want to give negative emotions a bad rap. They can be motivating, illuminating, and often provoke positive action. The trouble comes when we try to avoid them.
As humans we are wired to move away from pain so when we feel hurt, sometimes that’s the kick in the behind we need to get moving in a healthier direction. We can all testify that good can rise out of the rubble.
But too often we try to weasel out of feeling those uncomfortable emotions. Avoiding them is almost always futile. Suppressing them leads to sickness.
Because, though our emotions may be uncomfortable it’s not what we feel that causes the real problems. It’s how we behave when we want to get rid of that hurt or the anger or the sadness or confusion.
Instead of feeling our sadness we turn to rage just to feel differently in our body. We go from insecurity to hurt and then withdraw and withhold our love. When we act out of those bad feelings, we often act poorly, leaving damage in our wake.
Instead, just sit with the emotion, go through it. Embrace the feeling, whatever it is, and know that to feel deeply is the privilege of being human. Know too, that the big emotion, the one that threatens to sweep you away, won’t. It will pass. But, when we act hastily and behave badly from it, then we’ve got more to deal with.
Facing the big emotions can be freeing.