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I Suggest You Feel Sad

Let’s break this down.

Tens of thousands of thoughts zip through my head each day.

I latch on to many of those.

After some of those thoughts, I feel anxious. 

It’s OK that I experience that anxiety (to a point). It is definite proof that I am a live human being and not a psychopath who does not experience emotions. There are other benefits to feeling that emotion.

Sometimes, I don’t let myself feel that anxiety. I block it. It’s not on purpose. It’s a habit that still shows up sometimes, probably the result of years of programming, so that I often don’t even notice that I’ve dropped into a low mood, a bad feeling, sad, angry, anxious. 

Not feeling the emotion is a problem. There are reasons that I’ve made it a point to let go of that habit.

First, the feeling provides me with information that helps me understand how my thinking works. It teaches me. It wakes me up. If I miss it, I miss that opportunity to learn and get woken up.

Second, When I block the emotion, I stifle my body’s beautiful system. My body is designed to deal with low emotions. Low emotions naturally follow certain thoughts. My mind and body naturally deal with those emotions and naturally return to equilibrium. 

My mind and body systems are designed to process the emotion and return to equilibrium. Equilibrium is where I’m alert and sensitive and resilient.

When I block the emotion, trying to push it away, the bad feeling tends to stick around. As Carl Jung said, “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.”

When I don’t feel the sadness, I don’t return to equilibrium. The sadness grows in size. The resulting tension dulls me into a not-so-alert and not-so-resilient state. 

When I have the presence of mind (or, better, the old habit just doesn’t kick in), I welcome the low feeling. When that happens, through a mysterious process, the feeling becomes gentler, and it goes away. Not always immediately, but faster. And, I get this honest, clean feeling inside, peaceful. It’s how we are designed.

Exercising my emotions by allowing them has the added benefit of strengthening my emotional muscles. Then, in the future, I’m prepared to feel more deeply, to open up to greater sensitivity and deeper experience, more of what it means to be human. When it happens I can feel that. I love that.

So, when low moods come, I don’t want to block them. I want to welcome them. 

So, if you’re like me, I suggest you feel sad. 

[Watch for a future post about not succumbing to the emotion and making yourself a victim.]

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