Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday, August 14: 3 Ways of Feeling Bad

Sometimes we feel bad. Our neighborhood could be being bombed. That will make the day seem hard and weary. The temperature, thanks to all our car driving and war making and chemical farming, is soaring. It’s hot outside.

Usually, though, we feel bad because we have a picture of the world and the world, big stinker that it is, doesn’t want to live up to our rules. People we live with are in bad moods, or are angry at us, or die on us. These are radically different levels of outer reality, and still, the feeling bad is in us. We miss the good moods, or we miss the nice person, or we just miss the person.

We want things to be different.

Now, a low level way of dealing with this is to get busy, or get drunk, or eat a lot, or run a lot, or work a lot. Doing a lot of push ups can get us out of a bad mood by getting our physical being in motion and making us realize that we can do something for ourselves, so maybe this isn’t such a low level way of doing it.

And even here: can we feel bad and follow our breathing and do the push ups. Which is to say: not deny the feeling bad, but stay with it and see what happens, will the push ups transform it? Maybe yes. If so, how did that happen? If not, good, how did that happen?

What is the size and shape and color of our feeling bad? Can we notice and sense and appreciate it, even as we feel bad? Where in our bodies does it hang out most? What happens to our breathing with this feeling bad shtick? And what are our thoughts?

So this is the, notice it approach.

There is the let it be and do something else approach, which I’d hinted at in the conscious push ups idea. Here we don’t do push ups. We just feel bad and breathe and notice our breathing. Neither wishing nor wanting the bad feeling to go away. Let it do its thing and we get to have an undercurrent of attention on our breathing.

There is always getting outside and breathing and walking and feeling bad, which is a shift your place, let nature be your helper, be in the present, allow moving to come into your life, and don’t push away the feeling bad.

This is more than three ways, isn’t it? Oh, well.

And then, there’s always the Byron Katie work. Judge the world, write it down, ask four questions, turn it around.

Hmm. So feeling bad is aquiver with possibilities. And then there is the old, habitual standby. Feeling bad, and then top that off with feeling sorry for ourselves and blaming others for our feeling bad. Add to that a little gossip, go find someone to agree with us that so and so is causing us to feel bad, and we can stay miserable our whole lives.
What a thrill!


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