Got Bad Feelings?

November 2, 2007 | 8 Comments »

One of the most asked questions I get from LOA savvy folks are what to do with negative feelings. We know we get what we vibrate, so if we’re immersed in something negative, how do we get out of it?

Answer: stop trying to get out of it.

Feel your feelings.

They’re not as scary as they might seem.

I’m not saying revel in them, or stay stuck in them. I’m just saying we aren’t going to be able to avoid feeling them by ignoring them or wishing them away. It’s okay to feel them. That’s actually a rich part of the human experience, don’t you think?

You’re irritated at your sister for changing the family’s holiday plans? That’s okay. Be irritated. So what? Once you let yourself be irritated, it’s much easier to get over it. It’s trying NOT to be irritated that keeps you stuck in it.

You’re mad at the boss for shortchanging you on the raise he promised? It is what it is. If you’re mad, be mad. And then you’ll be able to leave mad behind sooner rather than later.

It’s not that you approach your less-than-fabulous feelings with the AGENDA of ridding yourself of them, rather that’s just a beautiful side benefit that those negative feelings are more easily released after you accept them.

Weird, huh?

Well, it’s not that weird. What we resist, persists. So don’t be afraid of your negative emotions.

When I let myself entertain thoughts of revenge against that neighbor I struggled for weeks with, that actually felt better. (A LOT better. It feels awful to feel powerless, but revenge – now that gave me access to feelings of power again.) That feeling of revenge eventually gave me access to choose other feelings, like peace and appreciation. But if I had sworn off all negative feelings – oh man, I hate to think where I’d still be with him.

Where does deliberate creation fit in all this? In our conscious choice to feel what we feel. And then making deliberate movement up the emotional scale as we’re ready to.

When I had Shadow euthanized, I felt sad. I didn’t try talking myself out of it, although I did remind myself I didn’t need to be sad for him. I let myself be sad for me. It’s amazing how much more quickly I move through grief now that I know to let myself feel it. Instead of trying to pretend it’s okay or wishing the pain away or doing everything possible to avoid thoughts of my favorite cat, I just feel sad.

So I felt sad.

And then … I didn’t.

Instead of dealing with buried grief that I’m afraid would just bring me more things to grieve over, I honored what I felt. That allowed me to move on to appreciation and love for what great company he was for those 18.5 years. As I find my way to thoughts that feel better, I welcome those. No need to dwell in something that doesn’t feel great when there are other options available.

But until those other options become available – in fact, what ALLOWS them to become available – is feeling what’s up for you now.

So here’s to your fabulous feelings, including the revenge and anger and despair and all the other wicked ones. Let go of your judgment and fear of them, and enjoy playing with the full deck.

(Unless of course judgment or fear is what’s up for you. ha In that case, enjoy them too!)

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8 Responses to “ Got Bad Feelings? ”

  1. Kim Falconer says:

    Jeanette,

    I’m awestruck right now reading this post. The synchronicity is astounding! Yesterday I had a cascade of events that had me so anxious and upset I couldn’t keep from shaking. I didn’t know what to do! I didn’t want to feel these ‘bad’ feelings because I was scared that would just make matters worse!!! No, I wasn’t scared; I was terrified! And do you know what happened?

    I got more and more terrified!

    I was trying so hard not to vibe the bad stuff (by not feeling it) I vibe’d FEAR of the bad stuff like nobody’s business!

    Everything that went ‘wrong’ felt like it was threatening my life, my peace, my cats’ lives and peace, my connection to family, my work, my study—everything and the kitchen sink was threatened. Pretty soon it felt like life would never be the same for all the stress and danger!

    Fear Fear Fear!

    I was quaking in my boots.

    And then I remembered something you said in our High Demand group. “When you are upset, feel the feelings and self-nurture…soothe the self that feels them. It’s okay to feel them! It might even be good to feel them! Let yourself be okay with those strong feelings.”

    And I did.

    Immediately I burst into tears, felt the feelings and shortly there after I smiled. That felt so much BETTER! So much tension melted away and I started to see how I could get a bit of peace back, no matter what was going on around me!

    By this morning, everything is a lot brighter, and then here I find your post!

    It’s like you wrote it for me.

    Thank you so much!

    Wow!

    xxxKim

  2. Good Vibe Coach says:

    That’s weird – I sat at the computer for quite a while waiting for inspiration to hit, and was surprised with the topic when it did. lol

    Seriously, Kim, good for you for being willing to feel the feelings. That is SO underrated and underpracticed in our culture, in my opinion. We’re usually REALLY good at avoiding feelings and end up participating in lots of “negative” behavior (like overworking ourselves, overeating, drugs & alcohol, relationship additions, etc.) to avoid feeling those difficult feelings.

    So good job girlfriend. And thanks SO MUCH for posting your experience here! You probably have no idea (or maybe you do?) how much this will inspire someone else who’s struggling.

    Namaste, my friend. You set the bar high. 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dear Sweet Jeanette,

    I am so profoundly grateful for this blog post. All week I have felt that you’ve been one beacon in the watery reservoir of grief that has been able to guide, nourish and protect me while I feel these feelings. I do feel so very sad…I’m concerned that I’ll undo all my LOA ‘graduate work’ that I’ve learned but as you say what you resist persists. I’m reaching out to many, planning a birthday party for my son and a girlfriend brunch in the next two weeks and trying to maintain a sense of normalcy while not denying this grief. Charlie Brown’s ‘Good Grief’ has a new meaning for me (lol…a little). Thank you so very much for being a true and kind blessing in my life and on this earth. I do love you.

    Much benevolence,
    Your fan and friend, Trish

  4. Good Vibe Coach says:

    Mandy Evans writes in “Emotional Options, a Handbook for Happiness” that our freedom and happiness lie in being able to choose our emotions. She was on a summer tour with her book just weeks after her mom died.

    So here she was out teaching people how to choose to be happy, while she was dealing with a great deal of personal grief.

    Here’s the excerpt I read just this morning that I was reminded of in reading your post tonight:

    “During one of the first talks, in a church in Albuquerque, a man asked, ‘What do you do when YOU feel sorrow or grief?’ Tears welled in my eyes. My voice cracked a little as I answered, ‘My mother died a few weeks ago so I’m feeling it now. I cry often these days. So first I accept myself just the way I am. Then I ask myself what am I crying about? And why? It’s mysterious to me. But I know this is how I want to feel.’

    I think we always feel the way we want to feel. But that choice takes place in a context of beliefs we may not be aware of. Very often we disapprove of our feelings so strongly that we try to hide them, change them, or suppress them without ever accepting them and learning what they can teach us.”

    Jeannette again: I read that twice as I wondered about her choice to feel the grief. Here’s a woman who is probably more practiced than most people on the planet at choosing their feelings, and she’s acknowledging that she wanted to feel the grief.

    Part of me understands that, although I sure couldn’t articulate why.

    Jerry Sloan (our Jazz basketball coach) was interviewed tonight about the death of his wife a couple years ago and the family medical challenges several key players on his team have experienced. He basically said although everyone around you wants to help, this is really your own work.

    It is, isn’t it?

    Glad you’re finding value in the post, Trish. Much love to you, dear friend.

  5. Peregrine John says:

    This is entirely off the thread’s topic, but may be handy nonetheless:

    Have you seen what this guy does? It suggests a pretty easy metaphor or two, but if you ponder what he’s doing, the idea of its “rediscovery”, and other aspects, I think there’s a lot more to make of it. I leave it in your capable hands.

  6. Good Vibe Coach says:

    That was pretty interesting, John. I forwarded that on to a couple of people I’ve had discussions with about Stonehenge, the Pyramids, and such.

    It’s a fascinating world we live in, huh? I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface of what there is to know about our capabilities.

    Thanks for sharing, as always! I can always count on you for something interesting! 🙂

  7. Michael says:

    Wow, that was so helpful. I resist fear and feelings of overwhelm when I’m in the middle of them. Instead of acknowledging then and actually seeing that they aren’t even really that accurate for where I am at the moment.

    Waayyyyyy helpful!!! Thanks Jeannette…

    m|p

  8. Yeah, I have this tendency myself, Michael. At least yesterday I did. I was ticked off after a string of minor but irritating events, I kept trying to shake the irritation. But it was going anywhere.

    Finally, I just acknowledged I was irritated, maybe even some anger there, and I just FELT it. I just let myself be really ornery. I even laughed at my acknowledgment that I was having a “bad day.”

    And then it left me.

    Not instantly, but gradually, without effort. Thank GOD.

    Glad you enjoyed the post, Michael. Thanks for saying so!

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