Monday, January 23, 2006


deciding not to feel bad

deciding not to feel bad about ourselves is something i've written about before. i keep coming back to it in my own life and thus keep coming back to it here. i think it's a pretty powerful decision to make.

so much in our culture is sold to us based on making us feel as though we are "lacking" - the right clothes, the cute haircut, the high paying job, etc. and it's not as though advertisers are the only people thinking within this paradigm.

life is challenging, always has been, and humans have long wanted to do better than they have been able to figure out and thus have felt bad. that feeling bad gets passed on from one generation to the next and well you can see how we become so saturated with it that soon we aren't really even aware of when we are feeling bad about ourselves (which if the chatterbox in my brain is any guide is a lot of the time).

so what to do about it? how to turn a generations old pattern of approaching life on its head? what i'm discovering is that its about deciding and then setting up a plan to act on that decision.

for instance, one of the places that i find i am often feeling bad about myself is in my relationship with my partner. we get in a fight say he says something cruel - i feel bad. we get in a fight i say something cruel - i feel bad. i plan to spend an evening with him, something comes up and i can't, i feel i've disappointed him - i feel bad. you get the picture.

so, my current goal is to decide not to feel bad and then to act on that decision in my relationship. because the real deal is that while i might sometimes owe my partner an apology or he might owe me one - beating up on myself for what a jerk i am, doesn't really help the situation. in fact it often leads to a nasty spiral of more fighting and more feeling bad.

so when it comes up, i do my best to notice the feelings..."oh i'm feeling bad again" and then decide to ignore them. "right, now is the time to put my attention on handling the situation rather than beating myself up for it." i've also made a plan to call a friend or write in my journal when these feelings come up - to get the feelings out of my system rather than pretending they aren't there.

what parts of your life do you find you are always feeling bad about?

how could you set things up to decide not to feel bad and then act on that decision?

as always i'd love to hear your thoughts and what you are figuring out!

dream big,

This is a really useful post! I relate to what you're saying on a personal level, and also deal with it a lot in clients. What a time waster, and it just feels bad to feel bad! The key like you said is making the decision not to feel bad and working a plan to get out of the habit. And bringing in a supportive friend is a great idea.
suggest me ways to control my frustration, anger and depression when i fight with my partner..
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