I’ve always worked hard at suppressing negative vibes, you know the ones that come to cloud your mood and rob your joy for whatever reason. Seems like the most appropriate thing to do, but when I think about it logically, not the smartest thing… What fighting chances do I have to defeat a monster I refuse to see? I might not be a boxer, but surely in the ring you need the target in your sights to be able to hit where it hurts.
It helps me better to face those depressing emotions with calm and grace for myself, accept their unsettling presence and find a way to tackle them – if I want to. I like this quote from an artwork in my home that says “feelings are much like waves; we can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf”.
Acknowledging emotions head-on…
Procrastination for example, a very common pet peeve, a bête noire haunting many of us is sometimes the result of anxiety, fear of failure or frustration. We will however conveniently confuse those emotions with tiredness. In my case it will look like me thinking I deserve to binge-watch TV shows or YouTube videos for a bit of escapism after a long day or a difficult week, putting aside priorities that require my attention. Of course, we need to rest to operate efficiently for sure; we need to relax to recharge but there’s obviously a limit to everything. I will deep down know when my battery is full, and when I cross the limit into procrastination territory. I have then the choice of either acknowledging the negative emotion head-on and deal with it or telling myself it’s nothing but mere understandable tiredness.
Owning up to negative emotions requires a lot of energy and courage really; as always it’s about choices and keeping in mind what’s at stake. We can decide to roll with those emotions or not, but at least acknowledging the ugly reality gives us the luxury to have a choice to make.
We need the target in our sights to hit, or not.