My focus today is to help you think about your experiences instead of thinking them away, or acting like they don’t exist.
It may seem counterintuitive that allowing yourself to think about difficult life experiences and feel unpleasant feelings will make you emotionally stronger.
You may prefer to believe that if you don’t think about or feel emotional distress and you instead actively push it away or shut down, that you will be – or appear to be – emotionally strong.
But that’s not how it works.
Handling your thoughts and feelings in this manner just makes situations worse, and surprisingly, leaves you feeling more vulnerable.
The more you tamp down those unpleasant feelings, the worse you will feel.
Often the way out of pain is through the pain.
If you want to possess the emotional presence, emotional strength, and resulting capacity to build a closer relationship with yourself and deeper connections with others, you can.
To do so, you must be willing to ride the waves of emotion when unpleasant feelings occur.
It’s equally important to avoid reasoning or thinking away these unpleasant emotions.
By making the choice to be in touch with your moment-to-moment experiences, you will begin to open up to fully experiencing your unpleasant feelings, and learning to take them as they come.
Practicing leaning into these moment-to-moment experiences on a continuous basis can help you become more confident in your capabilities; this practice may help you more easily embrace change.
Handling difficult feelings and embracing change can also help you feel more certain that you can handle whatever you face or whatever you pursue.
As you work to cultivate this skill (leaning into your moment-to-moment experience) and attitude (embracing change) you will develop a greater capacity to create a life you desire.
Dr. Joan Rosenberg
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