Mindset Wellness

Navigating Emotional Water

I tried to strongarm myself this morning during meditation. Yesterday, I was struggling to cope emotionally with pending disappointment and I didn’t want those “negative” emotions to spill over into the next day

While I’ve always prided myself in my ability to be authentic in the expression of my feelings, there are times when I wonder if what I really need to do is intentionally snap myself out of my looming funk. It can be a challenge to know when it is the appropriate time to sit with your feelings and when to pull yourself out from drowning in them.

Since I am by nature a positively minded person, I naturally gravitate towards resolution. This doesn’t happen, however, as if I am flipping a switch. I cascade through a myriad of emotions, most that are twisting and intertwining. I start at one place and then begin to move through a succession of evolving feelings. My destination is typically an elevated state.

I value the importance of the process. I know I can’t merely walk into one room and shut the door on the other. Well… I can, but it would be at the expense of personal growth.

It’s never easy to sit with difficult states such as grief, disappointment, hurt, rejection and confusion. As hard as they are to contend with, our courage to face them helps us to gain confidence in our own ability to traverse adversity.

I think one of the most confusing things about navigating emotional space is that our thoughts and feelings rarely reside solely on one side of the spectrum. Sometimes seemingly contrasting emotions coexist and it makes it difficult to sort through intricately weaved ideas about what is unfolding in our inner state.

I have found it helpful to pull the threads out and acknowledge each strand. I give each thought its time and allow its voice to be heard. I’ve learned not to tell myself… “That doesn’t make sense” or “You shouldn’t feel that way”.

When I found myself trying to override unwanted feelings with positive mindset, I told myself to stop. And then I said “tell me the truth about how you really feel” then I watched the shift in my body from one of contraction to relief and freedom.

We shouldn’t aim to be positive and optimistic all the time. It’s not sustainable… nor an accurate depiction of the human spirit. We should, however, aim to be honest. With ourselves.

We’re complex. While compartmentalizing can serve us in some circumstances, it’s helpful to become comfortable with divergent thought. We can hold both confusion and clarity… self-doubt and confidence… despair and conviction… confinement and freedom… and love and fear. All in a single breath.

With time and intention… the dust does settle. Our commitment towards growth will dictate what prevails.

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