Nothing in life is stationary, yet we assign permanency to many situations, like having good health, or being with one partner in a long-term romantic union. When these things change or go away, we find ourselves caught in a quagmire of negative emotions.
Our ego’s desires for comfort and predictability drive our fear of change. When the pages of our life turn to new situations, fear of the unknown can send us spiraling into depression.
For three long years, I suffered from depression, a condition that was worsened by my efforts to delay facing my inner conflicts. My basic problem stemmed from the fact that I had built a life where I ignored my inner voice and relied on the approval of others. Over time, I reached a point where I had lost true myself. Rather than do the internal work I needed to confront this issue and make changes, I distracted myself chasing after titles and trophies. Eventually, nothing helped. No matter the accomplishment, it failed to bring me inner peace. I finally had no choice but to confront my emptiness. This process changed the course of my life forever.
Emotions are not a state of being
Emotions are temporary. While it is easy to see feelings as a permanent state of being, they are not, be they positive or negative ones. It is ironic, however, that joy and other pleasurable emotions seem to run their course rapidly, while sadness, disappointment and depression linger seemingly forever.
The reason negative feelings seem to last longer is that they demand changes we don’t want or fear making. This is why I have concluded that undesirable emotions are warnings that you should look at changing important aspects of your life, like quitting a stale job where you are no longer growing or ending an abusive relationship. The thought of making these changes can make us fearful and question whether or not our Higher Self is asking us to jump from a high and dangerous cliff.
What makes your negative emotions a blessing is that your inner pain will not subside until you have addressed the problem areas they have brought to your attention. The choice is yours, however, if you don’t attend to these issues, the pain will continue until you do something about them. Just as my depression lingered for so long, inner pain can last a long time because humans have a great capacity to endure physical and emotional suffering.
You possess the ability to handle any challenge life brings you. While it may not be pleasurable making unwanted changes, modifications to current conditions are the most predictable part of life. If you are like me, when something feels good and brings you comfort, you want to hang on to it, but doing so eventually goes counter to your Authentic Self’s desire to grow. Trusting yourself means letting go of your doubts.
Negative emotions are for your benefit. The reason they are painful is that they call you to break your acceptance of a mediocre and stale life and motivate you to do the work needed to change. Your Higher Self means for these warnings to help you. While it is difficult to be in the grasp of difficult emotions, you will eventually recognize it is time for you to do some work. You may need help from a life coach or counselor to help identify how to move forward, but have confidence that, as you brave on to make necessary life changes, the Universe will conspire with you.
Think back on some tough times you have overcome. Were you not shaped by the experience? You were not just shaped by them; you learned how to persevere. These current times are not different, for you will learn new lessons and find the inner strength to overcome your adversity. More importantly, you will discover that the dangerous cliff you believed your Higher Self was asking you to jump off of was nothing more than a one-inch high ledge.
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