Just a Thought with Tom Gentry
Just a Thought
Assuming We Should Be Happy
This episode features a passage from Resisting Painful Emotions, by Tom Gentry. It was published February 27, 2023, on Substack.

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A lot of us go through life assuming we should be happy all the time. Then, when we’re not, we hold ourselves in contempt for it. We avoid experiencing sadness, and we shame ourselves when we do experience it.

Our resistance to emotional pain, stress, distress, positions us to be dominated by it. We refuse to experience emotions we consider negative, and in doing so we prevent ourselves from knowing the fullness of the opposite of those.

Can we really expect to fully appreciate moments of joy if we devote so much energy to living in denial of sorrow?

The very existence of grief depends on the happiness from which it originates. For us to miss someone, we have to first love them. It is the hunger we feel that gives our satisfaction its relevance. We can’t have one without the other.

Our resistance to emotions makes them that much more painful; that much more difficult. So, we’re better off choosing to experience all of them, good and bad.

So, Just a Thought. Sometime today, try to tune into what you’re feeling. And, if you feel something painful, do your best not to distract yourself from it.                        

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© Copyright 2023, Tom Gentry; Music: Worky Worky by Andy G. Cohen, edited for use. Used with permission from the artist under a Creative Commons license. Cover photo by Sam Barber on Unsplash.