Not too long ago, I found myself watching a rather annoying talk show. One of the guests said that happiness was “a natural state of being.”
That’s true. But sadness is a natural state of being too!
Fear, joy, calm, frustration – these are all natural states of being.
To think one can achieve permanent happiness is to set yourself up for a life of never getting there. Yet, most people talk about that very thing – I’ll have X then I’ll be happy.
They don’t understand that, in fact, ALL our emotions are natural and valid.
When we acknowledge our varying emotions from a place of non-judgment and acceptance, then we are actually more able to feel the true process and benefit of that emotion.
Emotions have many physical, psychological and social purposes. To deny anger is simply to repress it for another day. To label envy as bad is to label your very heart as negative. Or to withhold belly-laughter as it may be perceived as immature.
When I am deeply touched by a beautiful song or sentimental photograph, I WANT to feel my sadness or longing. It doesn’t mean I’m going to hold on to it forever – just for that moment. And when I recognize that its okay to move on from that moment, I can, easily and consciously.
Action – What emotion do you avoid? What is it that you’re afraid to feel?
With the help of a friend or confidante, immerse yourself in the feeling. If it’s sadness, rent a bunch of tear-jerker DVDs and watch them back to back. If you want to experience raucous laughter, spend an evening in a comedy club. Take yourself to a boxing gym to engage with anger. Feel your range of emotions.
And don’t let anyone sell you on the idea that one feeling is better than another.
(Which of the many emotions do you think most people avoid? Please leave your reply by using the comments box.)