Out of all the lessons I've ever been taught, one of the most impactful was this (from my first nutrition course in college):
There are no good or bad foods, just more or less healthy diets.
The idea is, it's not so much the individual components that determine the quality of our diet as it is the long-term, overall combination. Related to this concept is the Vicious Dieting Cycle -- in which attaching negative values to foods [desired by the dieter] can lead to avoidance, which feels like deprivation and may lead to binging...which produces guilt...and perpetuates the cycle.
I bring this up because it helps me to understand something I've been learning in therapy. It is this:
There are no good or bad feelings, although there are more or less healthy ways of dealing with them. Or something like that.
After a lifetime of trying to avoid/minimize/mask/deny certain feelings (sadness, anger, apathy, pride, etc) because I assumed them to be inherently "bad" and thus make me unworthy by association...anyway after so long, it has been difficult to reprogram my way of thinking (or rather, my way of responding to such feelings).
Difficult, but so incredibly rewarding!
I find it meaningful to compare my historical management of emotions with the vicious dieting cycle. It makes sense to me to consider my cycles of depression as a "binging" of sorts on all the bad feelings I didn't feel permitted to experience, much less express, for sooooooo long.
Thank GOODNESS for psychotherapy!, and for the chance to learn that whether or not feelings are comfortable - it doesn't make them any more or less valuable. They can all still be experienced and expressed within an emotionally healthy individual.