On our journey to self-awareness, self–acceptance and self-love one of the impediments to positive changes taking root and flourishing in our life is where we have an accumulation of unexpressed emotions.
Each time we experience an emotion we either choose to acknowledge and express it, or to ignore and suppress it (or something in between). Our life can become ‘saturated’ with our unexpressed emotions, leaving no room for new ways of being to be internalised.
Because some emotions can be unpleasant (more so if we have not been able to learn how to feel and express them easily) we tend to suppress them, control them and hide them. Sometimes we even suppress them so well it’s like we are emotion – less.
However, emotions serve a helpful and healthy purpose for us and in acknowledging and befriending them we allow ourselves to move into a place of learning to put them to good use.
The three most unpleasant emotions are fear, anger and sadness (closely followed by guilt, resentment and shame).
Acknowledging and expressing emotions need not be a scary or distressing process, and isn’t like letting the genie out of the bottle. Our inner self knows how much of anything new we can cope with, and will always keep us safe when we choose to visit with long – unexpressed feelings.
Part of loving and accepting yourself is accepting your emotions, and accepting yourself as you feel and express them. PS: Many people think they are ‘friending’ their emotions when they operate on the ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ principle, but in actuality some are not feeling the fear (truly acknowledging as part of our human-ness) but suppressing it while jumping ahead to the “doing it” part.
"Fear exists as a reminder that we are attempting to protect ourselves.
Anger exists to help us realize that we need to assert ourselves, to clearly express our requests and pay close attention to our needs.
Sadness exists to help us get in touch with our fear of loss. Acknowledging sadness will help us learn to let go."
Adapted from ‘Your body’s telling you to love yourself’ by Lise Bourbeau
If you want some excellent ideas about befriending anger, check out this great video!