Why We Should ACCEPT Our Emotions!


Last Friday I went into the city to help out at an event at the United Center. Needless to say, Servant Leadership was the name of the game once again. 🙌

At this point that should just be my middle name, right?! 😂

I woke up at 4am, boarded the train at 5:20am, arrived in the city at 6:20am, and got to the Center in time for the 7am meetup. I got to meet some old and new faces. I made a few new friends. I got to hear a bit of the speakers. And overall it was a fun time! 😄

It was around the late evening when I got back to Union Station to depart home back to the suburbs. If I had to describe how I was feeling at the time, it would simply be: exhausted! It was a fun day, but I was also ready to crash! 😝

I felt like a walking zombie as I wandered through the train station: half-alive, half-focused, and empty-headed. The only difference was I didn’t crave any human flesh but my bed! 🧟

I’ve experienced these kinds of moments a few times the past few years, these moments where I’m feeling so completely exhausted. But at the same time, I’m also fascinated with them! 😲

For a moment in time, I feel devoid of meaning and purpose. For a moment in time, I’m devoid of any thoughts about my life or who Donald Arteaga is. And all the while feeling like a zombie, there’s also a part of my brain that is self-aware of it all happening! 🧠

It’s why as I wait for the train to arrive, I keep trying change my focus to things other than my exhaustion. I start thinking about the things in my life I’m grateful for. I keep trying to change my focus to things other than my current feelings. It works for short boosts…but my mind quickly wanders back to the visual of my bed. Bed. Bed. Bed. 🛏️

Getting to my bed, for that moment in time, had become my Ultimate Life Purpose! 😂

It sounds silly, right?! But perhaps Abraham Maslow was right when he said the #1 need of human beings is getting their Physiological needs met: food, water, shelter, clothing, and (yes!) sleep. 😴

🛑 But there was an even bigger problem I wasn’t seeing at the time! 🛑

“What was it?”

👎 I was trying to pushing away what my emotions were communicating.

👎 I was trying to deny whatever I was feeling.

👎 I was refusing to accept my current state of exhaustion.

I share this post with you all because I believe there’s a CRUCIAL detail so many of us keep missing when we’re trying to change our emotions. And because we miss this detail, we are REPRESSING what we feel rather than ACCEPTING it! ⚠️

What’s the difference between repression and acceptance of our emotions? 🤔

📌 Repressing is denying to yourself the emotions you’re currently feeling. You try to pretend like it’s not there by masking it with another emotion. But when you’re angry and deny you’re feeling angry, that anger may build up and come bursting out later in ways you don’t want it to.

📌 Accepting is acknowledging what you’re currently feeling AND being okay with it. A part of you may not like the current emotions you’re feeling, but you nonetheless choose to accept them before you make the choice to change them.

The problem was I was repressing, rather than accepting, my feelings of exhaustion. I kept telling myself: “Wake up! Don’t be tired!” and tried pushing it away with alternatives. 👊

🌟 It wasn’t until I accepted my feelings of exhaustion that its focus in my mind started to dissolve. 🌟

Have you ever had a moment where you felt resentment toward someone, and you kept telling yourself you just couldn’t “let it go”? Acceptance is another form of letting go. But in order to let go of your resentment, you have to first acknowledge you’re feeling resentment, and be okay that you’re feeling it.

🌟 We can’t work on effective solutions if we won’t acknowledge what the actual problems are. 🌟

Society likes to tell us what we should and shouldn’t feel. We should be strong when we’re feeling weak. We should be happy when we’re sad. It’s all with good intentions, and they have a point about changing our emotions. The problem is that they miss this detail of Acceptance.

🌟 In order to change your emotions effectively, you first have to accept whatever is, without shame or judgment. THEN the change can begin! 🌟

🛑 THE WRONG WAY: “I shouldn’t feel depressed. I will force myself to feel happy.”

✅ THE RIGHT WAY: “I am feeling depressed. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s a natural human emotion. But now I do want to feel happier, so I am going to take actions to make that happen!”

As I was riding on the train back home I started to accept my feelings. I let myself be okay with feeling exhausted. I didn’t negatively judge myself for it. After all, I had been awake for over 18 hours. Could I really blame my body for feeling like that?! And I can definitely tell you: I had a DEEP sleep that night! 💤

If this made sense to you, I’d appreciate it if you SHARE this post. I know there are many who need to hear this in a society that encourages repression over acceptance! 😔

Much love! ❤️



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