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Anna Halliday, LMHC, a Lotus Counseling psychotherapist, shares her blog on how "It's Okay To Be ____."

As humans, we tend to categorize concepts dichotomously as “good” or “bad,” “right” or "wrong.” We also hold different people to unequivocal expectations within these categories, creating double standards about human experience that are biased based on varying identity markers. When we label our emotions in this way, we are wrongfully judging, mistreating, and hurting ourselves and others.

We all have emotions, a lot of them, a lot of the time. People from all ethnicities, cultures, spiritualities, genders, sexualities, and ability statuses experience emotions in ways that can be both similar and unique. We may feel we are “bad” or “wrong” for having particular emotions such as anger, jealousy, and sadness. We are often made to think that these emotions are negative and should be avoided. It is actually realistic for us to feel challenging and uncomfortable emotions, though feeling this way most or all of the time may be a sign that it’s time to seek help.

Allowing ourselves to feel, understand, and accept our unpleasant emotions inspires increased self-awareness. By creating this awareness, we clear space to change how we cope with and act upon our emotions. Healing and growth are achieved through expression and understanding rather than avoidance and judgment. Remember: It’s ok to be _____ .

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