Apr 092012
Doubt by Shahram Sharif

In our world today, people want to feel positive and happy. No one wants to feel negative emotions like pain, anger, depression, doubt or fear. This is rightly so for negative emotions taken to extremes can be harmful for us.

Yet, there is a time, place and reason for everything. If something happens that causes you to feel negative emotions, it is ok to feel the way you do. Trying to struggle against or suppress what you feel will only cause more problems for you. If you resist what you feel, you are going against the flow instead of with it. This requires continuous effort on your part that may be hard to sustain.

The Human Condition

To be human means we must grapple with attachments, desires and expectations. Unfortunately, all of these things are vulnerable to change. To worsen matters, the world is in constant flux due to never ending changes. Nothing ever stays the same for long even though we wish it would.

It is therefore no surprise that changes can cause our moods and feelings to rise and fall. If we have good fortune, we will feel positive and happy. But if we have misfortune, more often than not, we will experience negative feelings.

Regaining Balance

If each of our lives is like a ship in the ocean of change, then balance is the key to weather the storms we face. How then do we maintain our balance in the midst of change?

1. Practice Self-Mastery and Control

In life, how badly events can throw you off-centre depends on your self-mastery and control. Likewise, how quickly you regain your balance also depends on these factors. If your mastery and control is superb, there is no issue. Even if events rock your balance, it is only temporary. You will regain it quickly enough. But for the rest of us, we might struggle to regain our balance especially if the crisis is great and unexpected.

Here, you must practice self-mastery and control in times of peace. This way, it becomes easier for you to maintain your equilibrium in times of crisis. Start with small matters that test and shake your balance, then progress to larger matters. When a crisis arises, use it as a test to see how far your mastery has come. It also helps to nourish your mind with material that fosters self-mastery in times of good fortune.

2. Accept What You Feel

Negative feelings arise because we cannot accept something. To worsen matters, we may not be able to connect with what we feel because of societal views and values. Instead of feeling what we must, we resist because we feel it is wrong to feel the way we do.

But there is no smoke without fire. We all have good reasons for feeling the way we do. To struggle against this only causes more inner turmoil for us. So do not judge yourself too harshly. Do not rationalize how you should behave, think or feel. Instead, give yourself full permission to feel what you do without judgement. Be aware of why you feel the way you do, embrace what you need to feel and let it flow through you. Let it go. You are not what you feel. What you feel is merely your response to a given situation. It will pass as the situation passes.

The key here is not to hold onto negativity longer than you should. Embrace your anger, pain, hurt, despair, fear, doubt or worry fully. By accepting what you feel, you facilitate your healing process instead of hindering it. You may not regain your balance instantly, but acceptance goes a long way in helping you to return to your calm centre. At the very least, you are already moving forward.

3. Small Steps

If the crisis is simply too great for you to regain your balance quickly, take small steps. Be patient and do not rush the process. If your strength alone is not enough, seek help to manage your feelings. Support during your darkest moments can help you to pull through.

Always remember that everything happens at its own time and place. You need to give yourself enough time to accept the changes or the situation. When you do so, you will regain your balance. But this may take many small steps.

The Measure of a Person by Ireanatzi007

The Measure of a Person

Everyone feels doubt, despair, fear, anger and so on at some point in time. Even the greatest leaders and most successful people feel these emotions. There is no dishonour in feeling what you feel. What matters, what will truly define you, is not what you feel, but what you choose to do about it. This is the true measure of a person. Will you allow your feelings to control you? Or will you master your feelings?

Whatever you feel has a cause. If you struggle against your negative feelings, all you are doing is dealing with the symptoms instead of the root cause of the problem. As long as the root cause remains, you will always have to struggle. If there is something you can do about the root cause of the problem, take steps to deal with it. Focus on the solution and not the problem.

For example, courage is not the absence of fear, but doing what you must in spite of it. What then can you do to manage your fear better? It is ok to feel doubts when you face a challenging situation. What steps are you taking to deal with your doubts? Have you tested to see if your doubts are valid? When you take steps to deal with the problem, whatever you felt in the first place will vanish.

But there may be cases where you cannot do anything about the issue. If it is a matter of timing, it may help to take a longer view of things and persevere. If it is an irreversible loss, like the pain of losing a loved one, reframing the way you perceive things may help.

Taking Action

Do you struggle against what you feel especially when it is negative? Or do you accept it and go with the flow? Does it matter to you what others think of what you feel? Do the views of others shape your feelings? How do you cope when you feel negative emotions? Are you harsh on yourself or gentle? How does your view of your feelings help your healing process? Do share your thoughts and feelings with us! :)

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  34 Responses to “It is Ok to Feel the Way You Do”

  1. Hi Irving,

    This is something that I see people struggling with all of the time. They listen to advice on being “the watcher” or the observer in their mind, and are told to watch what they think because it will manifest (where thoughts go, energy flows), and they conclude that they CANNOT feel their feelings if they deem them to be negative in nature. I agree with you, if it’s there, it’s there for a reason and pushing it down and supressing it is not going to help. I usually focus on the solution. If there is no obvious next step right now, I remind myself that sometimes things come around later, and worrying about it right now isn’t going to solve anything. Then pay attention to what does show up to assist bringing it to resolution. It’s a work in progress!
    Julie | A Clear Sign recently posted..Follow The Signs To Discover Your Passion and Life PurposeMy Profile

    • Hi Julie,

      Yes, people struggle with this all the time. This is the main reason I wrote this article, to address this issue.

      Indeed many of life’s problems can be resolved if we focus on finding the solution instead of harping on the problem and making it worse.

      But as you say, sometimes, there is no obvious next step at the moment. During such moments, it is indeed best to leave it aside and keep a lookout for a solution that may pop up earlier. When we think too much about something, we become blind to the obvious. It is best to take a step back to see the bigger picture.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  2. Although your first reaction may be to avoid the person until they are more fun again, remember there are steps you can take to make your friend feel safer and that you are on her side..
    Jazmine recently posted..Spa ServicingMy Profile

    • Hi Jazmine,

      I agree. If a friend in need needs our support, we should make the effort to let them know that we are there for them. This can be invaluable in helping them to face adversity.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  3. I agree, we have to be patient and we should not rush the process and if you rush it, it won’t give you the best outcome ever…
    Alexarie recently posted..Natural Remedies For GoutMy Profile

    • Hi Alexarie,

      Everything happens at its own time and pace. If the timing is not right, whatever we do might backfire. It is rarely a good idea to rush things especially when it comes to something as complex as feelings.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  4. It is not easy to manage fear and we are aware with it…Sometimes, it matters to me what other people will think about the things I will I do but it is not all the time…
    Crystal recently posted..Learning a Foreign Language Can Be Challenging but RewardingMy Profile

    • Hi Crystal,

      Fear is something that many of us grapple with. But ultimately, it is our choice and up to us to decide how we should manage that fear. If we take steps to find solutions to ease our fears or to work around it, it will help us to achieve our goals.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  5. I like your article title – very reassuring. I think a good number of us view negative emotions as “wrong”. We are told not to cry even as children. We go on to suppressing our sadness, anger and frustration. It is little wonder why as adults, we face issues on coping with life.

    As you have correctly pointed out, it is okay to feel the way we do. There is no need to struggle. We learn to acknowledge our pain. At the same time, we find a better way forward.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Evelyn Lim recently posted..Law of Attraction: How to Tell a Better-Feeling StoryMy Profile

    • Hi Evelyn,

      Thank you for your compliment. I chose this title because it is what I would like to hear myself.

      You’re right. We face so many conflicting messages as we grow up that it is no surprise we are conflicted as adults. We either have trouble with feeling our emotions or we cannot manage them well.

      The key is always to take little steps and to focus on the solution to get to where we want to be. This applies to our feelings and emotions as it does to life in general.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  6. Like Evelyn, I responded to your post title with a sigh of relief. As someone who writes about joy, I find it important to recognize that living a joyful life doesn’t mean feeling happy all the time. On the other hand, “feeding” our negative feelings with our own drama stories does nothing to serve our well being and can be detrimental to our mental and physical health. The wisdom of your approach is to simply be with what is, rather than making it more or less with the thoughts we add to it.
    Galen Pearl recently posted..Code to JoyMy Profile

    • Hi Galen,

      Having read your blog for sometime, I guessed that you would appreciate this article.

      Indeed, joy and sorrow are two sides of the same coin. We cannot have one without the other.

      But at the same time, there is no reason to make our sorrow worse by feeding them with our own drama stories as you say. That is focusing on the problem and making it worse. This approach is unlikely to make things better.

      Having realized this, I try to focus on the solutions whenever I face challenges. In the meantime, whatever I feel, I feel, but I do not add to it and try regain my balance quickly if events rock me.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  7. Such a great article! I really like your point on the importance of small steps, I’ve always preferred small steps instead of big resolutions. When I used to make big resolutions, I always felt disappointed when I couldn’t realize them all. I think that the best way to reach our bog goals is to start with baby steps. Every day a new step.
    Julie recently posted..Dental Implants For A Permanent Tooth AlternativeMy Profile

    • Hi Julie,

      Few things that are done quickly produce lasting results. Trying to do big things at once also rarely lead to success.

      True and lasting success depends on the small and little steps that build upon each other to lay a strong foundation.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  8. These are some very great points here and I totally agree: it can be really hard sometimes when negative feelings come rushing in, and sometimes people try to deny that they exist when in reality the proper way to deal with them is to accept them, process them, and try to resolve them in the best way possible, one small step at a time.

    Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing!
    MELISASource recently posted..What You Can Learn from Sherri Shepherd and Her DWTS ExperienceMy Profile

    • Hi MelisaSource,

      When we deal with our negative feelings gently and in the proper way, they become much less trouble and easier to manage in the long run.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  9. I like your blog. Very influential, every thing starts with a small steps. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
    Carmen recently posted..Why Cant I ConceiveMy Profile

    • Hi Carmen,

      Indeed. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Lao Tzu sure knew what he was talking about.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  10. Small steps are much more better, and they can lead you to reach your goals! You only can climb with small human steps to the highest mountains as well;)
    Amy recently posted..A Closer Look To The Device Used In Dental ImplantsMy Profile

    • Hi Amy,

      If we pay attention to details, we will get the big things done in the end. This is why small steps are important and why we should not skip them or take short cuts.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  11. ah… Irving! if only i had read this when i was so depressed. i kept struggling against it, fighting it. only when i let myself feel the emotions and dael with them did i get better. lost time!
    but doesn’t matter. i learnt a lesson :)
    Noch Noch
    Noch Noch | be me. be natural. recently posted..why “work-life” balance? advocating a 3.5 day weekendMy Profile

    • Hi Noch Noch,

      I had you in mind when I wrote this article.

      Your struggles reminded me of my own.

      Still, I am glad you have learned to cope better.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  12. Hi.. You know I have learned a lot from your post here.. Actually, I have a lot of fears today and we all know that it is hard to manage and conquer it.. But I am sure it takes time..
    Kazzsandra recently posted..How To Deal With Panic AttacksMy Profile

    • Hi Kazzsandra,

      I am glad that you learned a lot from my post. :)

      Everyone has fears. It is what we do about them that matters. But you are right, with time and a strong reason, we can conquer our fears.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  13. I agree with you. Everything passes, and this applies to emotions. When we feel down, we just have to wait for the time that we will feel better.
    Andy recently posted..shoes for nursesMy Profile

    • Hi Andy,

      Well put! Everything passes indeed!

      Even when we feel really down, with enough time and proper healing, we will feel better once more.

      The key is to manage this process well.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  14. This is great. I have always rallied against the rush to change a negative state if it is not absolutely necessary. How can you understand the full you if it is always masked by a fake smile or drink or drugs. As a depressive I still believe that feeling slightly negative never killed anyone. Accept it as you have said because unless it DOES need treatment it will fade soon enough as did the positive feeling.It is a natural part of life and quite okay to feel and embrace all the myriad of feelings we have.
    pea recently posted..A Firm Belief:My Profile

    • Hi Pea,

      I agree with you.

      We should let nature take its course and not try to change negative states too quickly.

      A sudden change of any kind will cause shocks to us that we may have trouble adapting to.

      We feel pain or depressed for a reason, so it is best to let this reason play out.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  15. Such an inspiring post! Thanks for sharing your deep thoughts!
    Jane recently posted..mini dental implantsMy Profile

  16. Its really fun and great.. I still believe that feeling slightly negative never killed anyone. Accept it as you have said because unless it DOES need treatment it will fade soon enough as did the positive feeling.
    tinafreysd recently posted..Best Topical Acne TreatmentMy Profile

    • Hi Tina,

      I agree. A little negativity is not life threatening. Sometimes we can’t help but feel this way.

      As long as we manage our negativity well, things will turn out for the better.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  17. Insightful thoughts you’ve shared on this topic, Irving. I agree that preparation during the good days, by being mindful of what we’re putting into our minds, will keep us afloat during those rougher moments we face. As much as humanely possible, we must learn to accept that everyday will not be a bed of roses and sunshine filled skies. If this were the case, there would be no rainy days or storms. I attempt to see those down times in my life, in the same light I see rainy days — somehow, they are bringing me growth, nourishment, and a moment of pause (silence, meditating, or reflection), that I simply would not be able to get if things were constantly going well in my life.
    Deeone Higgs recently posted..Celebrating the Victory of Finishing a Book – Release Vol.1My Profile

    • Hi Deeone,

      If we are constantly vigilant and work hard to cultivate ourselves during good time, we are likelier to manage bad times well. It is a matter of instilling the right habits to deal with adversity.

      That is a great way you have suggested to view life. Whether it is good or bad times, there is much we can gain from both to grow and become better people.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

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