“There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”
Through these kinds of clever phrases, society has idealized language
that makes negative emotions “symptoms” that are to be feared, seen as
problematic, and eliminated.
In the interest of “moving on” and “not living in your past,” we must
disown, repress, and skip over the process of processing our emotions.
I have found that our relationship with our “negative” and dichotomous
parts like “negative” emotions and pain are often what define people’s
lives for good and otherwise.
When you find a “bad” part that contradicts your narrative of how
you’d like your life to be, do you deny it exists, immediately and
reflexively push it away, or do you welcome it, seek to understand it
and receive its communication?
One way to work on becoming more open to the latter approach is to
start noticing the language that people use every day that reflect
this collective unconscious of seeing the parts we don’t like in
ourselves as our enemy to be defeated.
Another place to look is where there is hyper-positivity of “just
smile” campaigns, and extreme discomfort when you let your
uncomfortable emotions surface.
When you are feeling sad, anxious or mad, are you allowed to just be
in it, or do you or others reflexively attempt to shut down or
distract from these uncomfortable feelings.
Do you or others try to “cheer you up” so that you feel good again, or
do they help you navigate through it?
Let us get very comfortable with sitting with our most scary, painful,
and uncomfortable parts by recognizing that all they want is for you
to be protected and happy.
Let us also get very technical and sensitive to language that
perpetuates these destructive divisive myths about the “badness” of
our “negative” parts.
What is your scariest emotion to yourself or others? How do you deal
with emotions that you do not enjoy experiencing? What do you advise
people who refuse to deal with all parts of themselves?