We don’t Love Painful Feelings

“Of course, we don’t love painful feelings like anxiety or depression. We don’t have to love or even like them, but we do have to accept them, as difficult as that can seem at times. Emotions, no matter how painful they are, are not the problem. The problem is dropping out of school or work, putting your family or duties of life on hold until such time as you can work out your emotional issues. Would you rather feel depressed while sitting alone in your room trying to figure it all out or feel depressed while getting your house cleaned or your project completed? (You may still feel depressed, but you have a cleaner house.)

The heart of accepting your emotions (and, as you’ve seen, of reclaiming your will) is to do what you need to do despite what you are feeling. Accept and learn from your feelings, but don’t let them run your life. By remaining productive during difficult emotional episodes, you are more likely to improve your emotional state than if you do nothing but ruminate and wait for sunny skies.

~ Dan Millman    from Everyday Enlightenment

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