Jill Hubbard Cleaver
3 min readJan 20, 2022



Sometimes we ignore our emotions, push them away or fight with them.

Recently I was working up high on the scaffolding with my husband. I was nervous when he would hang on with one hand and lean way over to place a nail. I felt uncomfortable when holding a board up with both hands, not leaning on or holding on to anything. The scaffolding felt wabbly.

There is no growth without discomfort.

Emotions can feel uncomfortable.

We think it means we are weak.

We also don’t like the physical symptoms that come with emotions, such as tummy ache, headache, tight muscles or restlessness.

What if we make friends with our emotions? “Hello frustration. You can ride with me if you need to, but you are not driving the car!”

Emotions are a little like puppies, just needing a little attention. They won’t hurt us. We can train them to serve us instead of bite us. The more we ignore puppies and push them away the more annoying they will be. When we give them a little attention they settle down. If we give puppies sugar or an ipad it only prolongs the difficulty. It only numbs the emotion for a while. It’s a lot easier to figure out what the puppy needs and take a little time to tend to the need.

Look at the puppy or the emotion with curiosity instead of judgment, rejection, fear or annoyance.

We all have handled a lot of annoying emotions. We can handle some more. I believe we all are actually getting better at it.

Since emotions are felt in the body, such as headache, restlessness, tummy ache, it helps to do some type of movement, such as yoga or walking or swinging on a swing. Try nature. Try deep breathing.

Thoughts create emotions

How aware are we of our thoughts?

We can intentionally choose our thoughts.

By the way, giving a little attention to our emotions does not mean immersing in them or overthinking them.

Everything we do in life is an attempt to feel better.

Figure out what we really want. Pornography isn’t what we really want. Emotional intimacy is what we really want. Gossip isn’t what we really want. We simply want to feel good about ourselves. Sugar isn’t what we really want. Some meaningful work or relaxation is what we really want.

Our emotions may be trying to tell us that there are some unmet needs.

Our needs are easier to satisfy than we think.

After a couple of days on the scaffolding I realized I hadn’t exercised. I needed to get the blood flowing. Restlessness was increasing my discomfort. I went for a couple of 15-minute walks when my husband wasn’t needing me. I felt better. My “puppy” just needed a walk. It was an easy solution.

The discomfort didn’t go away completely but it lessened.

There is no growth without some discomfort.

Observe emotions with curiosity instead of judgment.

It’s not that hard. It’s a choice. Have fun trying it out. Let me know how it goes.