How To Welcome All Your Feelings (Even The Difficult Ones)

Allow Your Feelings To Flow Through You

“When the feelings of sadness, anger, and depression appear, allow them to flow and allow yourself to express the emotion with the intention of not doing harm to others.” — Molly McCord

Think about a recent negative emotion you experienced? Was it anger, sadness, fear, or something else? What was your first inclination when you noticed the emotion? Resist it, ignore it, or push it down? Regrettably, this is how many people react when unwelcomed emotions surface. From a young age, we are taught some emotions are good and others are bad. But there is no such thing as good or bad emotions. All emotions serve a purpose and act as messengers, alerting us to something that requires our attention.

Here’s a helpful idea: When we experience unpleasant emotions, we must do our best to welcome them, not resist them. We’ve been conditioned our whole life to resist them because of their unpleasant nature. The key is to allow the emotions to move through us, to be integrated into our true nature of wholeness. It might surprise you to learn the universe uses our painful emotions to serve our highest good. It is about integration, not separation. When we resist or push away painful emotions, we create separation. This results in our emotions growing stronger because they want to be acknowledged and expressed through us. Therefore, we must let go of characterizing emotions as good or bad. An unpleasant emotion can be an excellent teaching aid, and a positive emotion can be bad for us if we remain stuck in it. We must allow our feelings to flow through us like water in a river.

There Is Only One Source Of Happiness

“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” — Denis Waitley

To illustrate this idea further: We free ourselves from our conditioning when we accept our feelings without trying to control or manipulate them. Read that passage again until you grasp its meaning, because it is worth repeating. Our job is not to control, resist, or manipulate painful emotions, but to allow them to pass through us. It involves welcoming and accepting everything we experience and integrating it into our being. In doing so, we are no longer separate from our painful emotions, but we create a space around them. This space I speak of is the pure awareness where we discover our true nature. It involves not pushing your feelings down, even the unbearable ones. It bears repeating: welcome them, feel them, and let them go as easily as they come.

You see, it is the nature of awareness to be open to all human experiences. Awareness does not discriminate between a negative or a positive emotion. Therefore, noticing painful emotions liberates us from becoming entangled in them. The act of acceptance and welcoming becomes our primary focus instead of resistance. Is this something you’re willing to practice? Could you stop resisting your negative emotions and allow them to come and go? It requires observing them with an open mind and heart and notice any impulses or intuitive insights that arise. We don’t even need to say yes to our experiences because awareness’ true nature says yes to everything, since it is all-encompassing. Resistance arises from the ego, whereas awareness accepts all that is because consciousness uses painful emotions for your greater good. To illustrate via a simple metaphor: A tree does not say no to rain, hail or high winds, even though it can damage it. It accepts it all.

To take this idea further: There is only one source of happiness, which is not dependent on external conditions. For example, we cannot experience one form of happiness when we’re with our beloved and another form if we receive a pay rise at work. In other words, happiness is not subjective to our experience of it in different settings. Happiness results from integration, acceptance, non-resistance, and allowing. Happiness is the residue of letting go of what stands in the way of recognizing our true nature, which is bound in love. Therefore, if we want to experience lasting happiness, we must surrender to our moment-to-moment experience and allow life to permeate through us. I’m not suggesting it will be easy, but with practice and patience, we will no longer be imprisoned by our negative thoughts and emotions.

This is the state of true freedom because we stop resisting unpleasant emotions and allow them to pass through us. Resistance arises because we try to control or manipulate our unpleasant feelings. But this does not serve us other than create more emotional suffering and layers of judgement. I’m inviting you to let go of the judgement and drop into the pure awareness that you truly are. There is nothing to purchase when you practice this way of being. There is no subscription or annual fee, other than letting go of resisting what is. It requires saying yes to life and accepting everything that shows up, even when you cannot understand the meaning or purpose of your pain. Allowing and acceptance opens the doorway to meaning, since we can fully appreciate what we’re seeing. We must be intimately familiar with our experience to truly appreciate it.

The Practice Of Welcoming And Accepting Your Feelings

“Instead of resisting any emotion, the best way to dispel it is to enter it fully, embrace it and see through your resistance.” — Deepak Chopra

Are you willing to give this a chance? I’m certain you are frightened or inquisitive about how this works in practice. But the only way is to surrender to it a little at a time and note how you feel. For example, the next time you experience anger towards your partner, family member, or friend, instead of resisting the anger, welcome it. Say yes to the anger and let it pass through you so it can convey a message about its significance.

If you are comfortable with this, I invite you to practice the exercise for the next 7 to 14 days, or as long as you like. When you feel a painful emotion, silently affirm to yourself: “I accept” or “I consent.” Notice a feeling of inner freedom and expansiveness arising from within you. The practice of welcoming and accepting our feelings has a quality of lightness, whereas resistance is heavy and dark. The more you practice welcoming your painful feelings, the more layers of conditioning you remove, which is a healing agent for the soul. Ultimately, if we want to be liberated from negative emotions, we must welcome them and dissolve any resistance surrounding them. Difficult emotions are not the cause of our pain and suffering. It is our resistance to them that creates more of the same feelings, which leads to suffering, and this is something we have the power to control.