We are taught to stay positive. I hear the words ‘I need to stop being angry’ so many times within therapy. So whenever you feel a tinge of anger we suppress it and hide it, so others don’t see the anger, while simultaneously stopping you from acting on the circumstance that has elicited this anger. I am not just talking about anger. There are lots of emotions that feel untouchable such as sadness, regret, frustration and the list goes on.
What happens to those untouchable feelings that you are taught to hide? Suppressing them rather than letting anyone else see you being negative, whilst allowing you to distance yourself from the negativity, so that you can focus on your positive emotions.
If those feelings don’t come out, the only place for them is back in. Those feelings are buried. You could think they’re gone, but over time they can return when you least expect it. When you’re tired, bored or stressed. They stop you from truly living in the moment, clouding your judgement and tainting your lives.
Many have been suppressing emotions for so long. You may not even know what’s under the surface, controlling your actions.
Imagine listening and acting on those suppressed emotions and using it to help you. Rather than being angry at yourself for not achieving your goals, use that anger to pick yourself up to try again and achieve them next time. Imagine uncovering other emotions that have been controlling your life so that you can act in a different way. A way that is congruent to what you want from your life. Your seemingly untouchable emotions can aid your life if you allow them to.
Therapy starts the process of uncovering what effect your unconscious is having on our lives, so you can start to see if the decisions you are making are truly your own or are consequences of your unconscious emotions.
Patrick Goodlet, Member BACP