There are certain emotions that are often described as being negative and others that are often described as being positive. And in today’s world of positive thinking and of always needing to be happy, embracing the other side of one’s emotional spectrum is generally frowned upon.
Based on this outlook, one is not to get in touch with all of their emotions, they are just to embrace the feelings and thoughts that make them feel good or that are classed as ‘acceptable’. And the feelings and thoughts that don’t make them feel good or are not ‘acceptable’ are then distractions and therefore need to be avoided.
This means that the so called negative feelings and thoughts are then not seen as offering guidance or insight; they are just problems that need to be removed and not understood.
Now, it is clear that feeling good or having ‘positive thoughts’ is pleasurable. And if someone had the choice between feeling good or feeling bad, it is fairly obvious as to what they would go for.
When the sun is shining for instance, one’s life can seem better and they can feel more inspired. To feel as though the sun is shining on the inside can also make one feel as though everything in one’s life is going to plan.
On the other hand, when one has negative feelings and thoughts, it is going to be painful. And as it is human nature to avoid pain, one could feel the need to do everything they can to change what is taking place within them.
If one followed the common theme in the self development world of being happy all the time, then they are going to feel justified in doing just about anything they can to feel better. It could be seen as the right thing to do and one could believe that ‘life is too short to be unhappy’.
To stay stuck in ones pain and to allow it to completely take over is not going to allow one to grow. And at the same time, doing all one can to avoid this pain is not exactly the answer either.
Even though feeling good is better than feeling bad, it is only through feeling bad that one can truly appreciate feeling good; without the so called ‘negative’ side of life, feeling good would no longer have the same impact.
When everything in one’s life is straight forward and one doesn’t have to think too much, they are not experiencing any kind of tension. So this means there is no need for any kind of growth to occur.
One is not being challenged and because of this, they are not going to expand in any way. So while it would be easy to go along with the outlook that all negativity is to be avoided and positivity is to be embraced, this would be a big mistake.
What this means is that pain is not ones enemy, it is their ally; that is if one embraces it and doesn’t push it out of their awareness or run away from it. Feeling good might create the illusion that one’s pain is no longer there but it is likely to return in other ways.
Ones relationships for instance will let them know exactly what is going on for them underneath their self induced positive feelings and thoughts. This could be emotional pain that one needs to face and process.
One emotion that is often labelled as being bad is anger and on the surface this can sound like an appropriate description. Anger can trigger associations in one’s mind to do with: violence, destruction and behaviour that is out of control.
This would be an example of someone who has allowed anger to control them and they have then lost all self control. In this case, it doesn’t take much thought to see that their anger is negative.
The Other Side
Because of these examples, it would be easy to say that anger is bad and therefore needs to be avoided. One could then end up repressing their anger and become passive. As a result of this, they may end up in a position where nothing bothers them and they no longer stand their ground.
This is then going to allow other people to walk all over them and it won’t matter if they see something that is not right; as one won’t allow themselves to get angry and to then speak up about what is wrong.
Anger is there to let one know when they have been compromised or violated in some way and based on this feedback, one will be aware of what they need to do. This doesn’t mean that one explodes or hits someone every time they feel angry; as it will be important for one to hold their emotional experience.
What this means is that one doesn’t repress how they feel and neither do they let it consumes them. One listens to what is happening within them and allows this insight to influence their behaviour in a conscious manner.
In order for one to move towards their goals and to achieve the kind of success that they want to achieve, it will be important for them to have drive. And if they have become disconnected from their anger and are therefore out of touch with what is not right in their life, they are not going to have the drive to do anything about it.
Here, one could end up being apathetic and this is not going to allow them to change or to grow. So it will be important for one to get in touch with their anger and to allow themselves to become aware of what is not right in their life.
And while this can relate to being walked over, it can also include those areas of one’s life where they are not going after what they want to achieve. Through getting in touch with their anger, it will allow them to move towards what they do what and what is right for them.
If one is out of touch with their anger it might take a while for them to get back in touch with it. They could also have certain beliefs that stop them from being able to embrace it. And one could have a build up of anger and feel that if they were to get in touch with it they might end up exploding.
So it might be important for one to seek the assistance of a therapist or a healer. One will then be able to form a healthy relationship with their anger and to allow it to assist their life as opposed to seeing their anger as a problem.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.