Here’s a paradigm shift: there are no such things as negative emotions. That’s right, no negative emotions. I can’t tell you how many times growing up I heard “don’t be mad” or “stop crying.” Additionally, I was taught that being angry or upset was wrong and that one should not have these type of “negative” emotions. Well who is the God of emotions? Meaning who is to say what emotions are good and which are bad?
I’m sure most everyone would agree that if we were to label emotions as either good or bad, the emotions that would fall into the bad camp would be anger, jealousy, envy, hatred, disgust. The emotions that everyone would agree to be good would be love, joy, peace, happiness. But how would you label emotions such as contentment, disappointment, frustration, anxious? Are these negative or positive emotions?
I agree with Colin Tipping. Emotions are neither good nor bad. They just are. And when we label certain emotions as “bad” or “negative” then does this mean that the person experiencing those emotions are also bad or wrong? Feeling bad or wrong about our emotions can lead us to suppress them and not fully feel our feelings. This is actually quite tragic because in order to heal, one must feel. Repressing emotions such as anger, hurt, sadness, etc. can lead to dis-ease in the body. It’s just not healthy. Plus, that which we resist persists. It is far better to feel our feelings and learn and grow than it is to stuff, suppress and simmer.
I am going to make sure I never again label emotions. I’ll even go one step further and make sure I never tell someone that they shouldn’t feel a certain way nor judge them for their feelings. Feelings are like thoughts. They come and they go. The best way to manage them is to acknowledge them and sit with them till they pass. When we pay them loving attention by noticing and naming them, sitting with them and allowing them to wash over and through us, we are cleansed and renewed.
I believe all emotions energize us. When we pay our emotions the attention they deserve we give ourselves the gift of awareness which is also the gift of being in the present. We get to fully experience our mortal existence and the complete experience of being. Emotions are what make us human. They are what we came here to experience. Why then do we want to shove, stuff and hide them? Why label them as good or bad? Let’s enjoy every emotion for they all are gifts that teach, enlighten and enliven.
There are no negative emotions. 🙂