Sadness. Despair. Guilt. Apathy. Rage. Low self-esteem. Shame.
We hide them. We try to destroy them. We avoid them. We don’t allow ourselves to feel these emotions because they threaten to harm us, to cast a shadow over us. We try to carry on. We slap a smile on our faces, we say “fine” when they ask “how are you?” We medicate with alcohol or drugs. We avoid with lavish holidays. We dive into an excess of pleasures like food or sex. We try so desperately hard to make right what we feel is wrong through these distractions.
It rarely works in the long run and, eventually, these negative emotions catch up with us. Or maybe it does work and we become masters of suppression, like sitting on a full suitcase ready to burst.
Negative emotions; tricky little fuckers, aren’t they?
Listen – instead of trying to avoid them, suppress them, ignore them or whatever tactics you may use against yourself, try this…
I mean really feel them. Sit with yourself and let these negative emotions just come at you. Let them erupt from you. There may be tears, there may be fits of rage, there may be some damn uncomfortable shit that goes down but stick with it because the negative emotions are just as much a part of you as the positive ones. You’re only living a half life if you’re denying to yourself that they exist.
You see, emotions are our guideposts. We need to start being more mindful of ourselves, allowing ourselves to drop back into the moment, as opposed to mentally running away, and noticing when these negative emotions are at their strongest and when they are at their weakest.
What time of day they are triggered?
Who triggers them?
What situation started all this?
What happened when you were hit with that low self-esteem?
All these things are telling us something. Negative emotions are not an accident; they are the purposeful nudging of your soul to find a better way. They are the voice of your heart willing you to a better path. They are the gentle hand of your spirit guiding you to a happier life…
And that’s just it. We need to have the courage to feel the negative because only then, when we sit and listen to what our emotions are telling us, will we know how to get to the positive. We will understand what we don’t want in our life, what no longer works for us, what drives us to anger, what causes us to ache, what we truly need to survive and be happy as our true selves on this Earth. These difficult feelings are growing pains; they are the aches that cause us to act, to make healthy changes to our lives, to fully better ourselves.
Sometimes we need professional help and a safe space to explore these emotions. Sometimes we need that friend to hold the space and allow us to speak without judgement. Sometimes we need the advice from the elderly family member. Sometimes it’s a simple journal and pen to really explore it all.
If your job causes that negativity to arise, ask your frustration what’s going on.
If your relationship is the cause, ask your sadness to speak up and tell you what needs to change.
If your commute to work causes those old feelings to emerge, ask your anger if you need to switch things up.
Truth is, sweetie, you probably already know what needs to change. You already have the answer deep inside you but, without tapping into those difficult emotions, you might never get the chance to listen to the answer your heart is whispering to you.
When we take the time to honour these emotions by giving them space to just simply be, they stop feeling so negative. What follows is gratitude. You’ll appreciate those familiar voices speaking to you again, showing you which way to go. The positive ones guide you further into bliss, the negative ones stop you veering off onto the wrong track.
This is not selfish to want a blissful life but an imperative. We need you to be happy. We need to you to be healthy. When you’re at your best, you help others become their best. That’s all anyone can ever hope for in life and, remember, we’re all just leading each other home.
‘Women must be able to suffer if they are to grow. Experience frustration and discontent to its fullest, suffering all its pangs, is the price of adulthood, a “privilege” that may lead to action. “Give us back our suffering, we cry to heaven in our hearts – suffering rather than indifference; for out of nothing comes nothing. But out of suffering may come the cure. […] A hundred may struggle and drown in the breakers. One discovers the new world. But rather [struggle] heralding the way to that new world, than stand idly on the shore.”‘