Anger. Disappointment. Frustration. Tension. We’ve all been there and back again. Our culture has labeled these emotions as negative. Especially in the Jewish community, there’s a great deal of emphasis on growing in our positive traits. While admirable, we’ve subsequently also created a rift within ourselves by labeling some attributes as positive and others as negative.

While it’s commendable to work on developing our positive quality traits, it’s also important to our self-worth to recognize that we are whole and worthy beings with all sorts of emotions.

G‑d created us with emotions such as jealousy, anxiety and impatience. How do we resolve these emotions within our internal lives? How do we maintain a positive self-image?

Here are four ways to embrace all of yourself and your emotions:

1. Identify the Emotion

Identify the particular emotion you’re feeling at any given moment. Be aware of your current emotional state. Don’t let it go under the radar; otherwise, it will control you without your knowledge or consent.

For instance, are you irritable because you’re lacking sleep, overextended or hungry? Identify the situation, thoughts or feelings that might be blocking you from being your best.

2. Acceptance

Accept that you feel this way. Are you agitated because of a traffic jam? Frustrated with your spouse? Jealous because of someone else’s recent success?

Experience your emotions fully. Otherwise, it’s like a flat-lining heartbeat: You can’t shut off one emotional valve without clogging another. You know that you’re alive when the rhythm of emotions flows.

Can you accept with patience and compassion that these emotions are part of being human? Would you denigrate a friend for having a moment of frustration? Often, we treat others with much more kindness than ourselves. Try talking to yourself like you would a dear friend—with understanding, love and acceptance.

3. Humility

It takes a great deal of humility to appreciate our humanity and the beauty of having all these varied emotions and experiences. As much as we enjoy feeling happiness or joy, life would become stale if we knew of nothing else. How many days could you have an ice-cream sundae before you would no longer even want to look at the sight of ice-cream?

And how about the reverse? We may consciously or unconsciously say to ourselves, “I’m not good enough or I’m not worthy because I have these ‘negative’ feelings.” That’s simply not true. We are a container for the multitude of emotions that G‑d created in this world.

We are human and have a vast scope of emotions, none of which are truly “negative.” Similar to King David, we all have within us a multitude of emotions like those expressed in Psalms. The ultimate goal is to connect to the Creator by reacting to them in the right way. Remember that G‑d implants everything in us for the positive to utilize, to grow and to elevate.

4. Channel Emotional Energy Into Light

Allow your emotions to vibrate and pass through you. The issue becomes when we try to reject pieces of our self, and the concomitant negative self-regard and stagnation that arises. Don’t allow yourself to savor misery, but don’t deny it if you’re having a miserable moment. Who are you lying to anyway?

In Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, it says: “Everything has an appointed season, and there is a time for every matter under the heaven. . . . A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time of wailing and a time of dancing.” Further, “He has made everything beautiful in its time . . . ”

We overestimate the value of having a happy life rather than one of meaning, which is far greater. A life of meaning brings deep contentment and joy, as opposed to the ephemeral nature of pleasures that bring transitory happiness.

For instance, if you were recently under the weather, you might visit the sick with a greater sense of empathy due to your experience. Or you might channel your anger to champion a cause close to your heart.

Our emotions are invaluable teachers; we are meant to embrace them, to remain fluid and open. Once the emotion becomes like a clogged artery, we can’t pretend that the emotional lump isn’t there. Instead, we go in, open it up, express it and let the flow of blood return to its natural state.

Ideally, every emotion will cultivate a greater sense of love for yourself and others. We can allow every emotion to connect us more deeply with our self, with others and with G‑d.