I felt a little irritable this morning.
The root of this irritability was that I felt tired & needed to rest after a long day yesterday. I didn’t think that I really had time to rest all day, so I took it slow and did a few things instead of all of the things on my to-do list. I acknowledged that I felt irritable and just tried not to inflict it on anybody else. I took the time to recognize that this irritability is a part of me just like all of the other emotions. By not pushing it away and instead accepting that’s what I felt in the moment, it slowly went away.
For me, this was a practice of acceptance for the present moment. Some days it’s easier than others. Every day, it’s a practice that I come back to over and over again.
It all gets to be there
I’ve spoken with people recently who talked about only acknowledging the ‘positive’ emotions or feelings that they have. In other words they don’t want to acknowledge when they feel anger, sadness or irritability. They seemed to feel that those positive emotions helped them in life whereas the negative ones only held them back.
Does this sound familiar? Do you push away some emotions more than others?
I think to only focus on the positive or the negative feelings that you experience is to deny that any other part of yourself exists. Constantly pushing away certain feelings while wishing that other feelings would stay longer is a hard way to live.
After all, you’ll never completely get rid of one emotion or another. They all exist within you as we go through your life. All of these emotions belong to you whether you like it or not.
Yes, some emotions can feel uncomfortable
So, what’s it like to acknowledge an emotion that you’re not comfortable feeling?
It can be hard to admit that yes you feel angry or that you’re sad because something happened. Those emotions are difficult for many people to feel and explore, but if you don’t allow yourself to own these emotions too, then you’re burying them deep inside of you.
They still exist. You just aren’t letting them be experienced.
Instead of openly experiencing them, these emotions will find other ways to come out. Maybe you have an ache in your body that just won’t go away or some other dis-ease.
Consider that when you don’t let it all be there in an open & acknowledged way, then it will still be there but in a closed and buried way. You’ll still feel it but that feeling will be disguised until you acknowledge it and admit that yes you too have emotions that are difficult to process. Thus, the unexplained body ache or the dis-ease that is suddenly flaring up.
You don’t have to walk around incomplete
It seems to me that to only want the joy without the sadness in life is to walk around half blind. You’re only experiencing one half of the equation that way. For example joy is made even more amazing when you’ve allowed the sadness to exist in your life too. Instead of limiting yourself to just one half of the equation, try to experience all of the emotions.
Notice how your body responds. Notice how your mind responds.
Just like you, I don’t like it when I’m feeling tired and irritable, but I know that these feelings are temporary and will give way to other feelings soon enough. I know that when I let myself really experience those frustrating or ‘negative’ emotions, then I’m giving myself the chance to feel a part of the whole.
I’m not denying part of myself. Instead, I’m giving voice to the different feelings and helping them to release from the current situation. After all, I know that the more I try to ignore a feeling, the more it will create dis-ease in my body in order to be heard. I would rather hear it in its original state than to allow it to create even more dis-ease in my body.
It’s makes a big difference in my life
So, I choose to acknowledge the irritability as well as the absolute joy.
Giving myself permission to feel all of the emotions rather than only the socially accepted positive one has made a big difference in my life. I used to push away those uncomfortable feelings but that only buried what was really happening and created other issues in my life. Now, I’m more comfortable with the difficult emotions and I recognize that they too will move on soon enough. I’m no longer letting those difficult emotions fester and grow. It’s liberating to experience these things and then move on.
Recognize that it all gets to be here. Be a whole person who experiences all of the emotions. It will take a little practice but I thing that you’ll be glad that you did.
This won’t always be easy
If you find this idea to be edgy, that’s okay too. You’ve probably been pushing certain emotions away for a long time. If you’ve experienced trauma, then you’ve probably pushed things away as a form of self protection. I know I’ve done this & still do from time to time.
So, stick just a toe in the water, and experience just one emotion today that you’ve been avoiding. Then, notice what happens. It can be as simple as that. Awareness and acceptance can be as simple as that.
This is a practice that you only get better at the more you do it.
For me, it’s been liberating to experience all of the emotions with less judgement and more acceptance. I look forward to only deepening this practice with time.
How about you? Are you ready to allow all the emotions to exist fully in your life too?
If it’s scary or too edgy to do on your own, then seek support from a trained therapist. If you’d like to chat about how yoga therapy can help you with this, then schedule your free chat with me.
And remember, it’s never too late to live healthier and happier!
Becky is a Yoga Therapist & has been teaching yoga since 2006. She loves to match people with a yoga practice that helps them to feel better every day & believes that there is a yoga practice for everyone. Click here to sign up for her mailing list & get all of the important news & tips first!