Breathing isn’t everything

“Emotional pain is not something that should be hidden away and never spoken about. There is truth in your pain, there is growth in your pain, but only if it is first brought out into the open.” -Steven Aitchison

Credit: Mark Patterson Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many deep breaths you take, the heaviness just wont go away. Frustration, fatigue, sadness, anxiety, you name it. There are times when sitting in silence and concentrating on your breath just doesn’t fix things unfortunately. When this happens to me, I use the quiet time to identify what I am feeling. I try to name the emotion and then seek to understand why this emotion is lingering and how I can overcome it.

Here is a list of some strong negative emotions and what they might be showing us:

Bitterness: shows you where you need to heal, where you’re still holding judgements on others and yourself.

Resentment: shows you where you’re living in the past and not allowing the present to be as it is.

Discomfort: shows you that you need to pay attention right now to what is happening, because you’re being given the opportunity to change, to do something different than you usually do.

Anger: shows you what you’re passionate about, where your boundaries are, and what you believe needs to change about the world.

Disappointment: shows you that you tried for something, that you did not give in to apathy, that you still care.

Guilt: shows that you’re still living life in other people’s expectations of what you should do.

Shame: shows that you are internalizing other people’s beliefs about who you should be (or who you are) and that you need to reconnect with yourself.

Anxiety: shows that you need to wake up, right now, and that you need to be present, that you’re stuck in the past and living in fear of the future.

Sadness: shows you the depth of your feeling, the depth of your care for others and this world.

Feeling these types of emotions are not negative in themselves. There is no need to tell yourself “I need to stop with this or that emotion because it is negative… I need to just be positive”. Yes, being positive is good, but you can be positive about these emotions as well. These descriptions are positive ways to look at these negative emotions.

(Negative meaning that they are not “uppers”, negative doesn’t mean bad and positive emotions aren’t always good.)

Looking at emotions in this way gives me the opportunity to step outside of my small scope on things. It gives me the opportunity to sit in the silence of my darkness and tell myself its okay to feel this way. Its okay to be hurt or disappointed or to feel sadness. But it also reminds me that I don’t have any other place to be except right where I am right now in the present moment.

Hopefully you can use this list to come to better understanding about your negative emotions as well.

Thanks for the journey friends. I’m here for you.

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