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  • Writer's pictureannepawlowski

How to Feel Our Negative Emotions

2020. It’s been a doozie. And while there have been many beautiful moments, silver linings and times of joy…. Let’s face it – there has been a lot of




It seems everyone and everything has been knocked off balance, and is spinning out of control. And while we’re all doing our very best with what we have in front of us and where we are emotionally, I’m quite sure there have been some challenging and maybe even gut wrenching experiences and emotions you’ve walked through this year.

Me too.

This human-ing is not always butterflies and rainbows. BUT, when we make the decision to go all-in with all our emotions – not just the easy, joyful, exhilarating ones, but the uncomfortable, challenging, painful ones, too – there’s so much to be gained on the other side. The only way out is through. And if we look at our difficult emotions as giant blinking signs that say “Attention! Something is out of balance within you!” it becomes much easier to allow it, feel it, and meet it with curiosity and a willingness to learn, heal and grow.

I realized that for most of my life, I’ve been pushing away negative emotions, holding them down or keeping them stifled until I finally exploded, and it all came rushing out, like a volcano erupting. And after each explosion, I’d pick myself up, promise it wouldn’t happen again (until it did), and carry on, not knowing there was much to be learned, sorted, and healed there.

Now, when difficult emotions come, I try to allow them (try is an important word here, because it doesn’t happen every time) and to identify the emotion – what it is and how it feels in my body.

And as I sit in the uncomfortable space, allowing the wave of the emotion to pass through me, I recognize that I am not my emotion, I am a witness to it. I can then look at it with curiosity and ask myself what the emotion is telling me about my needs. Beneath every difficult emotion is a belief, wound, or trauma that needs our attention.

When I take the time to do this work, there is much learning, healing, understanding and release. It’s important to remember this inner emotional work is not linear. And every time we go within, we may not come to an immense healing or colossal realization, but the more we can allow and acknowledge, and commit to the work, the more we come back to our worthiness, our wholeness, and our truth.

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