(Caveat: I often find call out culture annoying because it ignores how quickly change actually happens – it’s always gradual, never instant. With that said, and my hypocrisy thus acknowledged…)
It’s great that ‘the shadow’ and ‘the importance of accepting negative feelings’ and so on is getting acknowledged more and more. It’s definitely becoming a thing.
And that really is good, it’s massive progress from actively trying to deny or avoid such feelings.
BUT, my goodness the point is still being missed. The point is that feelings like anger, fear or sadness AREN’T negative. Not only are they not negative, they’re needed as part of a full emotional experience, as part of the depth and richness of life. And not in a “Well, you gotta have the bad times with the good” kind of way. It’s like saying vegetables are good for us even though they’re ‘negative’, whilst upholding candy as ‘positive’ just because it tastes so frickin’ delicious.
No. The so-called (but tragically so, and mislabled) ‘negative’ feelings are indeed the root vegetables of our soul’s nourishment. They grow deep, and there may not be a happy sugar burst from eating them, but there’s plenty of sustenance for our life and being. Taking the analogy slightly further, the more bitter vegetables are especially good for us, helping our systems self-cleanse.
The emotions that unfairly get called “negative” need our love and attention, so they can be digested. We don’t want to be the young child who won’t eat their vegetables, and end up hyperactive and with crashes in energy and health repercussions down the line. (I say this as someone who IS that young child, with regards to both physical and emotional nourishment, from time to time..!)
We want to be nourished by all of the experiences, energies and feelings of life. Emotions and feelings are neither positive nor negative, even if they feel subjectively more or less pleasant. They’re just experiences, or consciousness, or energy; anything else is just the story we tell about them.
(maybe you’ve seen the adorable videos of babies sucking on lemon wedges? They screw their faces up with the bitterness… And then go back for more. Because, without the story of ‘bitterness is bad’, there’s a sensation and flavour that’s exciting, an experience to be had.)
So it seems the spiritual world is catching up with the idea that certain feelings don’t need to be avoided, and actually are *good* to be felt and explored. That’s awesome!
I just urge one little step further, the dropping of the labelling of ‘good” and ‘bad’ with regards to feelings and emotions. A feeling isn’t any more good or bad than a species of vegetable is.
It’s absolutely ok to have our least favourite vegetables, but just as no Christmas dinner is complete without brussel sprouts, the banquet of human life isn’t complete without sadness, anger and fear.
(I also hear that some people *like* brussel sprouts. Such people are obviously much more advanced than me, in palate and ego. ;) )