If you’re anything like me, you’re in the middle of winter wondering when it’s all going to end.
Short cold days and long dark nights often give rise to so-called “darker emotions” such as despair and depression. Coping with dark emotions can be difficult for us.
Our culture often encourages denial, treatment, and control of these feelings. All of these approaches have their merits, but I think there is a better way.
Carl Jung wisely said: However, this procedure is undesirable and therefore not very popular. I don’t think even Jung could have imagined how much of an understatement this would be! .
This cultural bias leads us to overestimate emotional control and underestimate emotional expression. But painful emotions can teach us a lot, help us tap into new sources of life, and increase self-expression and understanding.
Albert Einstein said, “Intuition is a sacred gift, and a rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that respects its servants and forgets its gifts.” An integral part of this sacred intuitive mind.
Our negative emotions, if we allow them to do so, can be our greatest spiritual teachers and are as important to human psychology as love, inspiration and happiness.
Miriam Greenspan, in her book, Dark Emotions Healing, Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair, emphasizes how much our dark emotions have to teach us. Greenspan says that grief teaches us empathy and compassion. It can help you overcome denial about your own death and develop gratitude. Fear helps us accept our weaknesses and accept our humanity.
Greenspan suggests that as we overcome fear itself, we learn to become comfortable with vulnerability and expand our capacity for pleasure. Despair helps satisfy a deep-seated need for meaning, prompting us to change our ways of living and strengthen our spiritual connections.
Greenspan emphasizes that the main difference between being overwhelmed by dark emotions and being enlightened by them is acceptance. This requires acknowledging pain rather than denying it. When we allow ourselves to experience the energy of dark emotions openly and mindfully, our emotional pain can be transformed into spiritual power and healing. When we willingly learn, we open our hearts to the blessings of peace, courage, gratitude, joy, and compassion.
After all, compassion gives us our greatest hope for change and is the best antidote to a culture of violence and hate. The greatest lesson to be learned in this day and age is that the hardest ways are the easiest in the long run.”
Dr. Raymond Angelini is a licensed psychologist, business and personal coach. He has been in practice for over 30 years. He specializes in helping individuals in finding and maintaining careers that are rewarding, life-enhancing, and aligned with their personal and spiritual values. com or visit his website at https://drayangelini.com.