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The solution

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

Isaiah 66:9

How often do you think you should experience negative emotion?

Sometimes you may think that negative emotion is “bad” and that positive emotion is “good.”

This leads to thinking that negative emotion is unwanted and must be avoided.

What if negative emotion was just as necessary as positive emotion? That we couldn’t have one without the other?

If you actually wanted to experience negative emotion?

As it turns out, you do.

You want to feel sad when a friend moves away.

Disappointed when you lose a game.

Grief when someone you love passes away.

It is also true that you want to do workouts that cause sore muscles.

Having a challenge is exciting.

Feeling negative emotion and experiencing discomfort is the price of growth.

Thinking anything else will have you avoiding anything that feels unpleasant, and will have you questioning your goals.

It will also leave you judging yourself and will increase your chances of quitting.

So what is the solution?

Get good at feeling discomfort.

Embrace it. Know that it is for your benefit and that it is useful.

All emotions are trying to tell you something.

Be curious.

The first step to allowing an emotion is to name it.

Naming an emotion begins the process of regulating it and reflecting on it.

As you are experiencing this emotion, you then need to describe it with as much detail as possible.

What is the experience of feeling anger?

Where in your body do you feel it? Ask yourself if it is fast or slow? Open or closed? Hard or soft? Hot or cold? Heavy or light? What color is it? Does it have a shape? How does it move from one area to another?

The more you describe it, the more it can process through your body.

Whatever feeling you are experiencing, it is always caused by a sentence in your mind.

Can you find it?

Can you be curious and accept it without judging it?

Are you willing to feel it — the tightness, the heat, the heaviness — without reacting to it?

Once you know the experience is caused by the sentence you are focusing on, you are able to decide how you want to feel.

What feeling do you want to be acting out of?

Any feeling is available at any time.

Being willing to allow all the feelings, even the uncomfortable ones, is the solution to getting anything you want.

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