Resisting Painful Emotions
Monday Memo for 02.27.23
Many of us go through life assuming we should be happy all the time. When we inevitably fail to meet this unrealistic ideal, rooted in false belief, we then go on to hold ourselves in contempt for it. We avoid experiencing sadness, and we shame ourselves when we do experience it.
Our resistance to the darker side of our life positions us to be further dominated by it. When we refuse to experience the emotions upon which we assign a negative value, we also prevent ourselves from knowing the fullness of the opposite. Can we really expect to fully appreciate moments of joy if we devote so much of our energy to living in denial of our sorrow?
The very existence of our grief depends upon the happiness from which it originates. For us to miss someone, we must first love them. It is the hunger we feel that gives our satisfaction its relevance. We can’t have one without the other.
Our resistance to emotions makes them that much more painful. May we choose to experience all of them - good and bad.
You can read more of what I’ve written around this concept here. Keep an eye out for my new podcast, here on Substack.
Have a great week,