Maybe not what you want to hear on a Friday as you head into your weekend, but picture the following. We have this idea that every day in our love relationship should be like a dozen freshly picked roses, hand delivered to us by our spouses, on a white horse and then sweeping us off into a beautiful ride through the rolling grass fields. Now, you can finish this fantasy off exactly how you’d like it to end. You can even arrange to have it be fulfilled if you so choose, yet somewhere in the story there will be something that happens to sens you over to the other 50. The other 50 being you thinking something that has gone wrong.
It’s life my friends and I want to grant you full permission to having, and admitting to having, negative emotion in your marriage. It’s healthy in your relationship and it’s part of our human experience, it’s all about what you make the negative emotion mean. Today I’m going to show you how to break down the barriers of negative emotion.
The road to happiness in your marriage is the incredible joy you will feel as you work towards your dream relationship by overcoming obstacles along the way. Happiness is NOT the absence of negative emotion that we see played out on Instagram or on the big screen.
Reality is that as you work on creating the marriage of your dreams, you will not feel 100% positive all of the time. Some of the time it’s going to be hard, really hard, and very uncomfortable. Blasting through obstacles on the way to any goal is uncomfortable, don’t expect it to be any different with your relationship goals. Actually, plan on it being even more difficult and uncomfortable.
Honestly, the more alive your marriage, the more negative emotion you’re going to need to experience to get there. You might want to write that down and keep it as a screen saver as a constant reminder, let’s talk about about negative emotion!
So, what exactly is negative emotion?
Emotion is a vibration experienced inside your body. It is a biological state associated with your nervous system which is brought on by neurophysiological changes associated with your thoughts. You think a thought, your brain fires off some neurological responses which send a chemical cocktail into your body creating the emotion (vibration in your body) that thought generates. So in a nutshell, your emotion is all yours. The words your spouse speaks, or the true actions they take, do not cause your emotion. You do, with how you think.
Negative emotion does not need to mean that something has gone wrong. It might mean that something has gone terribly right, telling you it’s time to dig deep and to become conscious.
Contrast of emotions, contrast in the world.
I love to think of contrast as the spice in our life, and in our marriage. It’s what brings flavor into our lives. If we didn’t feel sadness, we wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate ecstasy. If we have never felt doubt then we wouldn’t be able to sink into faith. What about the stability we feel when we find our control after a period of feeling out of control? Without feeling deep shame we could never know what true compassion looks like.
In our marriages, I think this is a most beautiful thing. When we decide we’re tired of just accepting mediocracy and that it’s time to dig into creating a marriage that is on fire, we will experience this concept of contrast. We will feel vulnerable as we work through the process but come out feeling invincible, unshakeable and completely alive!
Resistance to negative emotion.
Resistance to negative emotion is simply our inability, or unwillingness, to accept the contrast. Resistance is our desire to make contrast and the beauty of it, untrue. Resistance will deny our experience of being alive. We are spending so much of our time running away from ourselves, and our true intimate love relationship, by becoming numb. We miss out on the experience of experiencing ourselves and what it’s like to be alive in this life.
What might you be doing in your relationship to resist the negative emotion? How are you relationship distracting (go read last week’s post)? Maybe you’re spending more time away from your loved one, maybe you’re over eating or over drinking, over working, over Netflixing? What numbing/escaping experience are you creating in your life to avoid and miss out on the true experience of the emotion?
Please hear me when I tell you that the way to enjoy your life, your marriage, is to not push negative emotion away, but the opposite. Enjoying your life by opening up and diving into the negative and fully experiencing what is happening so you can learn, grow and fully appreciate the other side (contrast).
Allowing and Feeling Negative Emotions
1. Learn how to feel your emotions
This is an exercise that takes practice, patience and consistency, sort of like training a muscle. You don’t do it once and expect to be the Ms. Olympia of emotional balance.
Take 10 minutes per day to sit and allow yourself to feel the negative emotion you are feeling. Take time to describe it, write it down, see it for what it is, notice how long the feeling actually lasts before it goes away.
What we discover is that we’ve been resisting emotions for so long that we don’t even know what it’s like to experience one. All we know is how to resist and avoid through buffering.
Feeling and allowing your emotions are different from reacting to them. Lashing out, snarling and being in a bad mood is happening because we’re trying so hard to keep the negative emotion at bay. There is the strength that we put into resisting and that’s what’s coming out of us, that is what we’re reacting to.
2. Get in the habit of writing thought downloads
A thought download is when you write down all of your thoughts. You get them out of your brain and onto a piece of paper, sort of like cleaning out that messy closet. You take EVERYTHING out, especially the ugly ones. Then you process what’s in your head, not judging it as something that shouldn’t be happening. You own it, you experience it, you process it so you can understand it and then let it go.
When we realize that marriage is going to be half negative emotion and half positive emotion, we realize that we will feel an incredible amount of love as well as an incredible amount of pain. That’s when we accept the negative as a part of our marriage, a part of our human experience, a part of the journey. We don’t resist it, we expect it and we work through it because what’s on the other side is so worth it.
The more alive your marriage, the more negative emotion you’re going to experience on the road to getting there. I even created a screen saver for you to download!
Learning how to experience this 50/50 before you enter your marriage relationship is definitely worth it. Starting wherever you are in your relationship is work worth doing for both you and your marriage relationship. This work will teach you how to become aware and process through the negative instead of ignoring it, pretending it’s not there, trying to be happy all of the time. Being happy all of the time is boring, it means you’re not fully experiencing your emotions and that means you’ll never experience true ecstasy in your marriage relationship or your life.
Learning how to feel your emotions means you’ll learn what true ecstasy feels like, now that’s some work worth doing!
My Awaken(TheTrue)You program is for women who want to stop hurting in their most intimate relationship. I show you how to stop settling and bring back the love, connection and excitement you crave. Let’s re-ignite your love relationship today!
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