“Life is not about being perfect, it’s about being real.” ~ Unknown
Emotions are an inevitable part of the human experience. They can have us on top of the world or in the depths of despair, but if nothing else, they remind us that we are alive. Usually, “good” emotions are welcomed with open arms into our life experience, while perceived “bad” emotions are avoided at all costs.
People use anything from drugs & alcohol to denial to avoidance to blame, all just to protect themselves from having to feel anything.
Very often we are given the advice to just, “think positive”, “be happy” or “stay optimistic” when we are experiencing hard to deal with emotions.
While this advice may sound wonderful in theory, (because, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to just be happy and upbeat ALL the time?) it may not always be the healthiest option. In order to successfully move through a tough emotion, the emotion itself must be not only acknowledged but actually FELT.
How ironic. The one thing that people try to duck, dive and avoid at all costs (feeling the emotion) is the one thing that will set them free and resolve it. Denying the emotion is happening will keep it bubbling just under the surface, while observing it without judgement and feeling it to completion will actually make it subside.
It sounds simple, “just FEEL the emotion and it will go away,” but it can be a little bit trickier than it sounds and it’s also important to look at the role of our emotions and how “bad” ones can actually help us to grow as a person.
“Is suffering really necessary? Yes and no. If you had not suffered as you have there would be no depth to you as a human being, no humility, no compassion. Suffering cracks open the shell of the ego and then comes a point where it has served its purpose. Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Many have people have spent decades not feeling anything, it is literally how they run their lives, so when a negative emotion pops up they immediately jump to their preferred line of defense (avoidance, blame, addiction etc…). When a person spends all of their time not feeling anything, they run the risk of overcompensating by excessive doing.
They jump from job to job, from one relationship to another, new hobby to new hobby, all to avoid the reality of ‘what is’, which is that there is an emotion that never got dealt with just under the surface. Over time they become human doings instead of human beings which means they are never quite comfortable to just be.
This causes them to become so disconnected with themselves that they stop knowing how they truly feel about things and instead focus on how they think they should feel and act, which prevents them from being honest with themselves. The most important thing to remember here is that emotions should not be avoided, nor should they be wallowed in.
Emotions, when used properly can be wonderful guideposts for our lives. Even though it’s not healthy to see our emotions as the 100% absolute truth of a situation, we can use them as indicators as to when it’s time to move on from an unhealthy relationship, or a going nowhere job, or they might even signify a deeper rooted issue that is begging to be dealt with.
As long as we don’t start identifying with the emotions themselves as our sense of self to the point that we are addicted and attached to them for our ego’s survival, we can use our emotions in a healthy manner.
There are many methods to help us process emotions and move through them more quickly, which include: Meditation, yoga, hypnotherapy, counseling, energy work (chakra balancing/clearing, reiki, etc…), the tapping method, and so many more.
“The ego says, ‘I shouldn’t have to suffer’ and that thought makes you suffer so much more. It is a distortion of the truth, which is always paradoxical. The truth is that you need to say ‘yes’ to suffering before you can transcend it” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Feelings and emotions are a part of the human experience, and when used properly can become wonderful tools for us. To only focus on being positive and feeling good is to deny part of our life’s journey, which will consequently inhibit us from being able to feel true joy.
The happiest and most peaceful of people are the ones who have made it through their tough times, by actually going through their suffering instead of denying it was happening in the first place.
Once a person has gone through the rough patches & dealt with emotions to completion, they are able to come out happier and wiser. They literally come to the light at the end of their tunnel.
The fear of feeling emotions starts to go away with practice. Soon, feeling an emotion, instead of avoiding it, becomes an automatic response. When we move through feelings more quickly we will always have continual growth which allows for true happiness, joy and inner peace.