Fear, anxiety, anger, jealousy, addiction, grief, all have bad reputations. Maybe it's because those feelings don't feel particularly pleasurable. Most often we can't change the stressors, or the feelings, but we can change the way we relate to them, the stories we tell ourselves about the feelings, and the responses we choose. Negative feelings can have positive messages. Fear is validation that you matter, that you're important, that the thing you're worried about matters and holds meaning. Fear and anxiety can be signs of importance. Anger is also often a sign that you matter, that your boundaries have been crossed. It's often your inner self sticking up for yourself. Grief or sadness is often a sign of how much a person or a thing meant to you. It also signifies importance, and love. Discomfort is evidence of personal growth, of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, of opportunity for evolution. Addiction is often the sign of the desire to find some way of living a better life, of finding tools to decrease suffering. Donna Farhi reminds us that addiction often comes from the same desires which spark a spiritual journey. It stems from the underlying belief that there's some better way of living life, or some tools to be discovered to ease the suffering of the untrained human mind. So often we condemn our destructive behaviors or negative feelings before we've had the chance to listen to them. We miss the opportunity to acknowledge the beauty in them, or to redirect the impulses towards something more positive. It's in the listening, the investigating, the responding with curious observation where we gain the power to redirect, or to change, grow and evolve. Taking the time to stop and truly observe yourself with non-judgmental awareness provides the opportunities to grow from these 'negative' emotions or behaviors. If we can respond in this way, we can react from a place of power. Negative emotions no longer have power over us, but are instead transformed into valuable information, into treasure maps that lead to a connection with ourselves. This feels like a more beautiful world to live in. Don't miss these opportunities.