People often struggle with acceptance when it comes to the full spectrum of emotions. We have no trouble accepting joy, but often do not wish to engage the so-called darker emotions. Where people can get stuck emotionally with rage, grief, fear, hatred, etc., is that they either deny and repress such emotions, or they act—immediately and harmfully—out of them.
Balance and healing come from allowing, admitting, and experiencing the emotions, but not acting out of them.
Emotions are like the weather. They come and go. They happen, but are not a defining factor of who we are. Emotions reflect prevailing conditions—as weather does—so they are a form of information about what is happening around us.
If it rains, that gives information about the atmospheric conditions, but do you blame yourself for the rain? If there is a tornado, we know that hot and cold air have mixed in a volatile way, but we do not hate ourselves for the resulting destruction.
In the same way, your emotions give feedback about the atmospheric conditions in and around you. If you are filled with rage, you aren’t a bad person. You are responding to the fact that something in or around you is in a volatile state.
Instead of flying off the handle, pretending you don’t feel what you feel, or judging yourself, consider the emotion as information. Notice it. Allow yourself to really experience it, then listen to it.
- What condition is it signaling?
- Is a pattern that hurts you repeating?
- Are you being used, abandoned, harmed, taken advantage of?
- Are circumstances trying to point you in a new direction?
We all experience lust, but often feel shame when we do. This can be a natural attraction to a loved one, which we usually accept, but what about the out-of-the-blue desire for a stranger or someone who belongs to someone else? Just notice it and feel it. Then let it speak to you.
- Is there a major lack in your life or relationship that you are trying to fill?
- Is your life life—with or without a partner—growing dry?
- Is your body disconnected from your heart?
- Is it time to take your relationship to the next level?
- Is there something you are trying to run from, and sex makes a good distraction?
Jealousy/Envy is another emotion that we tend to avoid and judge. Often it speaks to us of untapped potential. What could we be pursuing or excelling at? What could we be doing better?
Feeling positive emotions doesn’t make us good. Nor does feeling negative emotions make us bad. Learning to feel our emotions and to read the “weather conditions” of their messages makes us wise.