But it’s usually obscured by the story we tell ourselves, especially if it’s a negative feeling: “I feel like this because I’m a bad person. I’m a loser. This other person caused it. I have a mental illness. I’m weak. The weather is bad,” etc..
These interpretations are not only limited or false, they actually amplify the problem by cementing it into a mood that has power over us.
In fact, the very notion that our distress is wrong is part of the false narrative we spin about ourselves.
The qualities within a negative experience are only negative because they’re not consciously integrated; when we process them to consciousness and own them they become positive stories.
For example, being bullied is a negative experience but within this story is our own power that’s meant to be integrated and used in a positive way.
The same is true for inner experiences that oppress us like depression and anxiety; they contain our own unintegrated powers that have turned against us.
Identify your current mood and the story you tell yourself about it. Then, put it aside.
Close your eyes and focus on how you feel.
Don’t judge or explain it, just feel into it deeply.
Describe it in the third person: Instead of, “I feel xyz” or “It makes me feel xyz,” imagine your mood as a separate being like it’s another person.
Then, describe this person’s qualities and behavior in a positive way.
For example, if you experience depression as a heavy weight oppressing you, imagine a positive version of a heavy weight person. “He’s a heavyweight and powers through all obstacles.”
If your depression is an empty feeling, imagine a positive version of an empty person. “She’s a zen minded soul with a calm, empty mind.”
If your frustration feels like a internal pressure, imagine someone who can apply a lot of pressure to life. “He doesn’t give up.”
If your anxiety feels dramatic, imagine someone with a positive version of being dramatic, ie. being passionate.
Then, imagine being this new person.
Hidden within your distressing story is a liberating one!