Feeling stressed, being depressed, is okay.

Happiness, peace, freedom, love, security…those are just a few of the things most if not all of us would say we would like to have more of in our lives. Yet I propose that these qualities for life are not gained from making them are goals, but rather, they are qualities we invite into our lives when we are fully alive in being who we are and helping others around us in the ways we are uniquely fashioned to do.

When we’re not feeling “great” or having a challenging time in life, it may seem difficult to voice with honesty to those around us how we are truly doing. We are greeted constantly by “how are you today?” and when you are asked this question, it’s difficult to respond with anything but “good” out of the expectation that it’s what someone else wants to hear. Almost as if we were to say “not good” that we would be letting them down or initiating a conversation we don’t really want to have, or may unintentionally (and unwanted) solicit advice we aren’t really wanting to have.

Many of us are wired in a “fix it” kind of way where anything is “not good” we want to make it good again. Yet often someone who is having a hard time in life doesn’t really need to hear advice, no matter how true, factual or wise we think what we are offering is, but what they truly want is someone to simply listen and perhaps ask questions out of a curiosity to know them and what they are experiencing in a deeper way.

Experiencing a negative emotion doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong, it means we are alive. It means we are human. And that’s pretty awesome.

Recognize that whatever it is you feel; stress, anxiety, depression or fear, is okay. We often perpetuate negative emotions because of how hard we fight against them. Which is totally understandable. We obviously don’t really want to experience things that are bad, yet when we war against them as though something is terribly wrong we can actually perpetuate the growth of those emotions. We can embolden what we want to eliminate when we give it so much of our focus and attention.

Yet if we recognize that what we are felling is okay, sit with the experience we are having and let those emotions be, we can learn from and begin to grow out of them and transition towards the emotions we would like to utilize for our life like peace and happiness.

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