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In gratitude for ugly emotions

On May 29th, 2019

Posted In:
blog | Emotions

Jealousy and disgust are two emotions I like to keep a close eye on.
They feel pretty ugly, so that’s one reason. But I have a couple of other reasons, as well.

Strong feelings of any kind usually motivate us to act in some way. When we feel unpleasant emotions, we’re going to do anything we can to make it stop. For me, the “action” takes place all in my head.

When disgust shows up (and frankly, I am disgusted by how often it does), I tell myself a story of how different I am, how I am nothing like the behavior I’m judging.

If it’s jealousy, the narrative might be that I’m not good enough because I haven’t found the success I desire (that may seem like the opposite of making unpleasant feelings stop but in its own misguided way, the ego is trying to motivate me to be successful) or it might be that the other person doesn’t deserve what they have.

That’s some messed up shit, right? Obviously, I want to shift myself away from those emotions because they just plain don’t feel good, but also I am committed to connection and love. Those things cannot co-exist with the separation I’m creating by seeing the differences between myself and other people.

When I first started working with jealousy, my strategy was to interrupt the narrative and take a different action.
I'd often compliment the person for whatever I was jealous of. Celebrating the success of others has been a surefire way for me to not only get rid of the unpleasant emotion, but also to pull myself back into alignment with who I want to be.

When it came to disgust, I tried to replace the “we’re nothing alike” track in my head with the “just like me” track.
Just like me, that person struggles. Just like me, that person acts out. Just like me, that person wants so badly to be seen.

But I also started to see another opportunity. Disgust and jealousy are pointing me at something very important. While jealousy often shows me something I want to be, do, have, or achieve, disgust does the opposite. Both are important because our desires are made up of what we want to experience AND what we don’t want to experience.

I also noticed that the stronger the feeling, the stronger the desire or fear. Big envy means I am looking directly at something I want badly. Big disgust usually stems from fear of being that very thing I am judging. When someone acts like a know-it-all, when someone can’t receive feedback, when someone is being judgmental or selfish or out-of-control… these are all things I fear in myself.

When it comes to my growth game, I’m always trying to do two things.
First, I try to accept and love myself where I am. That requires that I acknowledge I have the potential to be everything that exists, both the qualities I want to have and the qualities I don’t want to have. Second, I try to keep nudging myself in the direction of those desired qualities. Seeing the ones I don’t want actually helps me do that. In fact, I need them or else how would I know?

I have to be grateful for these emotions because they are the highlighters. Plus, gratitude is one of the fastest ways to raise your energetic vibration, so it has a way of naturally making you feel better.

Thank you, jealousy, for showing me what I want.
Thank you, disgust, for reminding me of what I don’t want.

Now when I see them coming, I have an appreciation for what they bring with them.

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