I was feeling a little irritable this morning. The root of this irritability was that I felt tired & needed to rest after a long day yesterday. I didn’t think that I really had time to rest all day, so I took it slow and did a few things instead of all of the things on my to-do list. I acknowledged that I felt irritable and just tried not to inflict it on anybody else. I took the time to recognize that this irritability is a part of me just like all of the other emotions. By not pushing it away and instead accepting that’s what I felt in the moment, it slowly is going away. I don’t feel the same now as I did when I first got up this morning.
I’ve spoken with people recently who talked about only acknowledging the ‘positive’ emotions or feelings that they have. In other words they don’t want to acknowledge when they feel anger, sadness or being irritable. They seemed to feel that those positive emotions helped them in life where the negative ones only held them back.
I think to only focus on the positive or the negative feelings is to deny another part of yourself exists. We’ll never completely get rid of one emotion or another. They all exist within us as we go through our lives. All of these emotions belong to you. It all gets to be here. At one time or another.
So, what’s it like to acknowledge an emotion that you’re not comfortable feeling? It can be hard to admit that yes you feel angry over something or that you’re sad because something happened. Those emotions are difficult for many people to feel and explore, but if you don’t allow yourself to own these emotions too, then you are burying them deep inside of you. They still exist. You just aren’t letting them be experienced. Instead of openly experiencing them, they find other ways to come out. Maybe you have an ache in the body that just won’t go away or some other dis-ease. Consider that when you don’t let it all be there in an open & acknowledged way, then it will still be there but in a closed and buried way. You’ll still feel it but that feeling will be disguised until you acknowledge it and admit that yes you too have emotions that are difficult to process.
It seems to me that to only want the joy without the sadness in life is to walk around half blind. You’re only experiencing one half of the equation that way. Joy is made even more amazing when you’ve allowed the sadness to exist in your life too. Instead of limiting yourself to just one half of the equation, try to experience all of the emotions. Notice how your body responds. Notice how your mind responds.
I don’t like it when I’m feeling tired and irritable, but I know that these feelings are temporary and will give way to other feelings soon enough. I know that when I let myself really experience those frustrating or ‘negative’ emotions, then I’m giving myself the chance to feel a part of the whole. I’m not denying part of myself. I’m giving voice to the different feelings and helping them to release from the current situation. I know that the more I try to ignore a feeling, the more it will create dis-ease in my body in order to be heard. I would rather hear it in its original state than to create even more dis-ease in my body.
So, I choose to acknowledge the irritability as well as the absolute joy. It’s made a difference giving myself permission to feel all of the emotions rather than only the socially accepted positive one. I’m more comfortable with the difficult emotions and I recognize that they too will move on shortly only to be replaced with something else.
It all gets to be here. Be a whole person who experiences all of the emotions.
If you find this idea to be edgy, that’s okay too. Stick just a toe in the water, experience just one emotion today that you’ve been avoiding. Notice what happens. I’d love to hear how it went.