Using Your Feelings - Especially The Bad Ones
Yes, those feelings that are painful, scary, dangerous and shameful are keys to knowing what is important to you and doing what you need to do to live the way you want to live.
Anger tells you what you don't like and want to get rid of. That's a pretty valuable thing to know.
Jealousy tells you what you want and don't have so it helps you know what you want to focus your energy on.
Anxiety tells you that there's something threatening you or something you need to do that is going to be hard to do and it gives you the energy to go ahead and do it.
Sadness tells you what is precious to you and what you want to protect and nurture.
Fear tells you what you need to be careful about and protect yourself against.
Guilt tells you what you don't want to do because it isn't right and will make you feel bad.
These are all very valuable things to know. They are absolutely crucial to you being able to live the way you want to live. So the trick with these so-called "negative" feelings is to learn how to acknowledge them, experience them and use them to live more the way you want to live.
These "negative" feelings have gotten a bad rap because they are painful and scary and, if you don't learn how to use them in the right way, they are dangerous because they cause people to do things that hurt themselves and others.
When you think about it, you realize that you can't know what you value and what is important to you in your head. You can only know it in your body. That is where you experience feelings or emotions - in your body.
And it turns out that if you can't feel you can't think very well. At least you can't use your thinking powers very well. Think about it. If you didn't feel bad about making a poor investment or making a choice that ended up hurting you, you wouldn't be able to learn and do better in the future.
Al Galves is a psychologist who can help you learn how to turn these "negative" feelings into positives. Through reading his book Lighten Up: Dance With Your Dark Side (in press, to be published in January, 2007) and attending his workshops, you'll learn how to take the lessons and energy in these feelings and put them to good use.