Perhaps never before has humankind been so alienated from so many of its normal feeling states, as it is in the twenty-first century. Never before have so many human beings been so emotionally deadened and impoverished.
The disease of emotional emaciation is epidemic. Its effects on health are often euphemistically labeled as stress, and like the emotions stress is often treated like some unwanted waste that must be removed.
Until all of the emotions are accepted indiscriminately (and acceptance does not imply license to dump emotions irresponsibly or abusively), there can be no wholeness, no real sense of well being, and no solid sense of self esteem. Thus, while it may be fairly easy to like yourself when feelings of love or happiness or serenity are present, deeper psychological health is seen only when you can maintain a posture of self-love and self-respect in the times of emotional hurt that accompany life's inevitable contingencies of loss, loneliness, confusion, uncontrollable unfairness, and accidental mistake.
The human feeling experience, much like the weather, is often unpredictably changeable. No "positive" feeling can be induced to persist as a permanent experience, no matter what Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tells us. As disappointing as this may be, as much as we might like to deny it, as much as it causes each of us ongoing life frustration, and as much as we were raised and continue to be reinforced for trying to control and pick our feelings, they are still by definition the human condition, largely outside the province of our wills.
- Pete Walker, MFT, Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving