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Many of us have been conditioned to suppress, hide and avoid the emotions we find challenging. We might have been taught to talk only about positive things, or to wear a smile even when we’re hurting inside. Over the years, our emotional coping mechanisms take a huge toll on us. We turn to drugs and addictive behaviors to avoid the pain we’re afraid to face. We reject our pain, and ourselves, when we don’t confront it head on. Learning how to have acceptance for our difficult emotions can mean the difference between learning how to handle them and always trying to run away from them.

When we resist our emotions, it is often because we’re afraid of them. Our resistance is usually a manifestation of our fear. When it comes to our difficult emotions, what are we afraid of? Many of us are afraid of the pain these feelings bring with them. We’re afraid of breaking down. We’re afraid our pain will overtake us and destroy us. We’re afraid of what other people will think of us if we express ourselves. We’re afraid of being judged as weak or cowardly because we’re not putting on a brave face to hide our pain. We’re afraid of what it will mean if we face our emotions, and we’re afraid of all the unanswered questions that come along with that – will I have to identify as an addict, does this mean I’m mentally ill, will I be able to recover?

Learning to accept our difficult emotions starts with having acceptance for all of our fears. We can embrace our fears and open ourselves to everything they have to teach us and offer us along our journey. We can accept that we’re afraid but commit to moving forward anyway. We can see our fear as a valuable part of us, a meaningful part of our story and our experience, rather than something we have to banish or try to escape or forget about. When we start to work on loving ourselves, we can practice feeling our fear, allowing it to be there, and sitting with it rather than reacting to it with more fear and resistance which only exacerbate our underlying fears. As we neutralize the fear we feel around letting ourselves really feel, we start to embrace our emotions for all the wisdom and guidance they can give us. We start to see our difficult feelings as spiritual tests not as punishment. We learn to hold space for our emotions and to honor them, allowing ourselves to heal from them rather than be controlled by them.

At The Guest House Ocala, we have personal recovery experience and over 12 years in the recovery industry. We have helped countless people recover, and we’re here to help you too. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.