I have a relative who apologizes whenever she’s not smiling.

 “I’m sorry I’m crying,” she said once the day after a funeral. “I guess I’m just sad.”

 I told her, “Of course you’re sad… Your friend just died.” 

See, the problem isn’t that we feel bad sometimes. The problem comes when we say we “shouldn’t” feel bad ever – even when we really should. 

Somehow, we’ve been taught to expect that everything should go our way all the time. 

Like any expectation, it just sets us up for disappointments rather than accepting that life’s a mixed bag for everybody. Or maybe we don’t want to seem like we’re complaining or feeling sorry for ourselves, so we put on a good face but feel like a phony inside.

When you feel an unwanted emotion, you don’t have to be scared of it or try to force yourself to feel better. You could just say, “Hmm… I’m feeling anxious. (Or blue, or annoyed…) OK. I see.” It’ll probably pass on its own, like the image of a balloon floating across a movie screen. So, just let it – and accept that it’s all part of being human. It’s all part of life.

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