I would like to recommend a great book by Miriam Greenspan – ‘Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear and Despair.’
The author, a psychotherapist with over 33 years of experience, is convinced that suffering can deepen our connection to life and compassion towards ourselves and others. She believes that our tendency to turn away from dark emotions is leading to increasing levels of anxiety, depression, addictions and violence. Greenspan argues with the present-day psychiatric attitude towards difficult emotions, which is heavily dependent on medication to return the patient back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible.
She advocates that it is important that we pay attention to all our emotions. While we are usually ok with the so-called positive emotions, we turn away from ‘negative’ emotions, seeing them as a sign of personal failure, an eveidence that we are bad.
Dark emotions are part of being alive and as such inevitable. They bring important information about ourselves and the world.
It is vital to learn to be with dark emotions like despair, fear or grief. Unfelt and unacknowledged emotions can result in depression, anxiety or numbness. We are not taught to pay attention to our emotions as valuable sources of information. Dark emotions are treated as something to get rid of, get through or to control.