Happy Spring Equinox. The mid-way point between light and dark, between winter and summer. The reminder of balance.
One aspect of balance I have been focusing on is the balance within emotions.
Most of my life, I tried to ignore both my big feelings and unpleasant emotions. I tried to make my emotional responses smaller. I leaned heavily into the realm of toxic positivity and the self-help movement in the 90’s spouting the need to always feel good. I liked thinking I could just make myself feel better, ignore those big feelings, pretend they weren’t there.
It never worked.
It’s not balanced and it’s not healthy.
Big emotions and painful feelings aren’t the problem. They aren’t something to be avoided, they don’t do well when ignored, and they aren’t bad or wrong.
It is not the emotion that is harmful – it is our reaction – to be specific, our ability or inability to regulate the emotional states we experience.
Emotions, even painful ones, can be extremely beneficial when processed in a healthy way. When we regulate and feel our emotions, they can provide valuable information, we can feel inspired, emotions create movement and energy, and encourage us to grow. Our painful emotions can be recalibrated to provide a positive experience – thus becoming balanced as an emotional experience.
I am practicing moving into the emotion in my body; feel the emotion, learn from it, and allow the space for it shape and shift. I often ask, What is this emotion telling me? There is always an answer and when I acknowledge it, I am able to turn it into something beneficial.