Acknowledging Feelings

If you believe in the value of positive thinking, what do you do with your feelings that are not so positive?

It’s a great thing to be a positive thinker, but sometimes we confuse the desire to think positively with the need to deny our feelings. Have you ever felt sad or angry about something and then rejected that feeling because you believe that it is best to look on the bright side of life?

This can happen very easily, but when we are thinking positively, we are never denying our feelings. Now, this isn’t saying that you should hold on to feelings that are causing you discomfort or pain; on the contrary, it’s important to let go of them. But we can’t let go of a feeling until we know what it is.

A feeling needs to be acknowledged and looked at before we can release it. To deny feelings is to see a legitimate part of our self as unworthy or without value, and the very act of denial serves only to chip away at our sense of self-esteem. Besides, feelings that are denied don’t go away. Instead, they go underground and show up as illness or unconscious behavior that inevitably causes trouble.

You know, you can accept all of your feelings no matter what they are, but you don’t have to act on them or continue to hold on to those that may be in your way. Accepting and acknowledging your feelings in a patient and thoughtful way is the first step to gaining control over them, while denying and repressing them is a sure way to give them control over you.