“Hateful Feelings.”

by Jim on August 22, 2011

We all have feelings. We have physical feelings (“Ouch that hurts”; “Oh, that feels great.”) And we all have emotional feelings, which I’m just calling, emotions. All feelings are normal, even the uncomfortable and “ugly” ones, what many call the”negative” emotions. But I’m arguing that there aren’t negative emotions…just uncomfortable ones.

According to Dr. Paul Eckman, we (all of us who are human, which is all of us reading this) have facial expressions that tell the emotional experience that we’re having inside. He breaks it down to: Mad (angry), Happy, Fear, Sadness, Surprise, and Disgust. These are all universal facial expressions. Dr. Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence, explains these theories.

I help people realize that, yes, we all have emotions, all kinds of emotions, even when they’re not what we’re “supposed” to be feeling. And we have feelings that are “hateful, ugly” feelings that we just can’t accept within ourselves. We just can’t stand that we may actually be feeling that way…except that…we do. When I fully accept something, I am in peace with that something. It doesn’t mean that I agree with it, or that I like it. But I can accept that that something exists.

Emotions are sometimes hard to accept. Once I do accept that I have these feelings, then I’m on the track of dealing with them. Part of dealing with them, is accepting that I have them. Is it pretty when I’m expressing “ugly” emotions? Maybe not. But am I wrong or a bad person for having them, for feeling this way? Probably not, no. How I feel is related to SO many things, including how I saw emotions expressed when I was a kid, and what interpretations I made about expressing emotions.

So “Context” is a big deal. From the perspective of how I grew up, what I saw/didn’t see, feeling what I’m feeling now, probably makes total sense. Having feelings means that I’m HUMAN. No wrong or right about that. How I express my emotions is a human issue, and yeah, there are “healthier” ways to express emotions than others, but that’s something that we can talk about, get to know about ourselves, about each other. Just having conversation is getting in touch with ourselves and that’s a good start. Let’s keep going.

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