By Nadine Saad
It's important to stress at the outset that we are not our emotions. We have emotions, and we feel emotions. But they are not who we are. And they do not make us who we are.
But our judgement of these emotions can tend to lead to a lot of self-judgement, and it's important to be mindful of this pattern when it arises.
When we notice that we're feeling an emotion that we don't want to feel, such as irritation, sadness, anger, or depletion, it's not uncommon to respond by judging the emotion as "negative" or "bad". And resisting it as an emotion that we shouldn't be feeling.
Before we know it, this can spiral into guilt, shame and blame.
Why we judge emotions
Of course, it's vital that we ensure our emotions are not used as fuel for harmful, hurtful or destructive reactions and behaviour. There is absolutely no question about this.
But arguably, the issue here is not in the emotion itself. It is about the need to manage our response to the emotion more effectively.
No emotion is truly positive or negative; or good or bad. Every emotion we feel surfaces for a reason, and whenever we bring awareness and understanding to our emotions, we can start to see what's beneath these feelings more clearly.
Let's take anger as an example. Anger tends to be triggered in response to inner pain, hurt, or a deep sense of what feels right or wrong about a situation. Yet we cannot see these root causes when we view anger through a filter of judgement.
Letting go of self-judgement
Whenever we judge our emotions, it tends to follow that we redirect this judgement at ourselves. We get frustrated with ourselves and feel guilty for feeling these emotions. We start criticising our progress and scanning for ways to "fix" what we are feeling.
But it's only natural to experience varied emotions - and they form an important part of our personal growth, learning and evolution.
Our emotions often bring us clarity in situations, communicate intuitive guidance, and help us to see what we're dealing with at a subconscious level. They often hold pivotal keys to our healing and breakthroughs. Feeling our most uncomfortable emotions might just be exactly where we need to be.
Letting go of this pattern of judgement means letting go of judging what we feel. And letting go of labelling our emotions under categories of positives, negatives, good, and bad.
By practicing non-judgement in relation to emotions, we can start to release the criticism and judgement that we're directing at ourselves as a result.
P.s. If this resonates with you, find out how I can support you with working through your emotions here.
Disclaimer: The information in this post, and all of my other blog posts, is provided for general information purposes only.