A feeling is a demonstration of your focus or predominant point of attention at any particular point in time. Feelings usually come and go. If feeling bad, sad, or angry is hanging around for a longer period of time, it is a message to pay attention. Feelings are pre-cursors to physical manifestation, and are your opportunity to improve or change your experience for the better. Your feeling could be telling you that you are at odds with what you say you believe or want.
For example, you may want to attract someone who loves and accepts you as you are. If your tendency is to blend in with others to avoid standing out, you may have a habit of seeing a social situation as either/or: safety vs. authenticity. First attempts to show your true colors may not feel comfortable or good. That fear of opening up to someone new is telling you to take smaller steps. It is not telling you to get discouraged or to give up on love.
I’ve discovered in my experience and from my observations with others that our feelings provide us with valuable feedback that we can use to stay in integrity with the life we are here to live.
Here are some things that are good to remember when you feel bad:
- Be happy that you care about how you feel. You suffer when you refuse to care about how you feel. People who do not care about how they feel will not seek improvement. They will numb out. They may think this is the way life is. Feeling bad for a bit is better than being numbed out.
- You are aware of how you are feeling. Again, you have not numbed out. Awareness gives you the opportunity to choose something different.
- The feeling will pass if you do not fight it. The sooner you acknowledge it the more easily it will dissipate and you will start receiving clarity about your choices. If you are afraid of the feeling and want to get rid of it, argue with it, analyze it, or justify it, you will be increasing its hold on you.
- Instead of blaming or shaming yourself, recognize that you may be feeling strong feelings because it’s less tolerable for you to feel bad. You may have a much higher standard for your life than you used to have.
- It is natural to want to feel good. Feeling bad is meant to help us clarify what change is needed.
- Give yourself permission to shift your thinking to something pleasurable. It does not have to be the answer to the problem. Often, especially with a big reaction, getting focused on something completely different is the best short-term choice. It is not running away from reality. It’s a practice to ground yourself and gain perspective. Your goal is to regain balance and center so that you can approach things from a non-reactive state of mind. You will make better choices and have less drama if you retreat and anchor yourself before stepping forward.
- Exceptions to #6: Emotional pain is similar to the pain we feel when we touch a hot stove. It is your connection to your Inner Being’s guidance and protection. There are times when you have explored all of the options and that bad feeling is saying pay attention and act. Even in this scenario, it is important to ground yourself before you take action. This is a good time to ask for help, spiritual, psychological or both.
- Start, shift or change your spiritual practice. Rest and pamper yourself.
- Change starts with a clear decision. This usually involves making a clear choice to let go of one idea and to embrace another. It’s a commitment but it need not be so big that it scares the pants off of you. The most common mistake is to think that you need to make one BIG decision. More often than not, there are many smaller decisions. And you get to change your mind one step at a time. You might also have the experience of having to release something more than once before it truly leaves your experience.
- Feeling bad is a call to open up your perspective to believe you can have what you want before it shows up. Instead of beating up on yourself for feeling bad, start looking for reasons to believe that there are more answers or options than you had previously considered.