The more you resist a negative emotion, the stronger it becomes.
It’s a vicious downward cycle.
For example, when I’m feeling lazy, I feel guilty on top of that laziness, which compounds my laziness. Or when I’m feeling sad, I feel angry at myself for feeling sad, which compounds my sadness.
It’s quite unnecessary, so lately I’ve been trying to break the cycle.
Lately, instead of resisting my negative emotions, I just allow myself to feel my feelings, especially the bad ones.
I allow my present experience to be enough. And in that transition, I allow myself to be enough.
And it makes my emotions much more manageable.
They go from gargantuan gorillas that I have to wrestle with, to being small monkeys hanging on my back. It’s still a burden, but I’m not wasting my energy fighting them anymore.
And it helps bring peace during stressful times. It also helps boost self-acceptance and authenticity because I’m owning every inch of who I am, even the ugly parts.
So, whatever feeling you’re feeling, know that it’s perfectly okay.
It’s okay to feel angry.
Sometimes life happens, and what happens sucks. Instead of getting mad at yourself for getting mad, just sit with your anger. Stay with yourself, and let yourself be angry.
Don’t lash out. Don’t retaliate. Don’t drag others down with you.
Just stay with yourself and let yourself feel what’s true for you.
The anger will pass, and by allowing it to run its course without resistance, it will pass much quicker.
It’s okay to feel hurt.
Feeling hurt is a sign that you’re vulnerable, and at the end of the day, that’s good.
Being vulnerable is the most courageous thing we can do. And when we choose to be vulnerable, we choose to accept everything that comes with it.
The happiness, the joy, the freedom, and – yes – the hurt.
Personally, this is the most difficult emotion for me to deal with; and I definitely forget that I shouldn’t resist it when the feeling arises.
And each time I’m in the middle of a hurt and I remember to feel all my feelings – especially this painful one right here – I find the capacity to lean into it a little; to forgive and let go.
It’s okay to feel restless.
Living a slow life is a beautiful thing.
But in today’s success- and productivity-oriented society, it can be hard to keep a slow pace. And that’s okay.
You can’t expect yourself to be 100% zen 100% of the time. In fact, just being 10% more zen 10% of the time is an amazing accomplishment!
It’s okay to feel like you’re not enough sometimes.
This one is a biggie for me.
As I do all this work on increasing self-love and increasing feelings of enoughness, it’s important for me to remember that it doesn’t come all at once.
There will definitely still be times where I still don’t feel like enough, and that’s okay.
Instead of feeling bad about feeling like I’m not enough – and layering that bad feeling on top of another bad feeling – I’m slowly training myself to sit with it.
Whatever happened (or is happening) that makes me feel lacking, I try to just stay with it.
I acknowledge the feeling, and welcome it in instead of pushing it out.
This way, I am honoring what’s true for me, and I grow closer to myself.
Sometimes Negative Emotions Are a Good Sign
Overall, feeling negative emotions doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Sometimes it’s a sign that things are going wonderfully right.
Feeling hurt could be a sign that you’re practicing more vulnerability.
Feeling angry could be a sign that you have values.
Feeling restless could be a sign that you’re trying to create something meaningful in this world.
When we learn to lean into these emotions instead of pushing them away, we find more acceptance of ourselves and the world around us.
And it’s a beautiful foundation to build a life upon.