- Thoughts for inspired living

January 29, 2008

Feeling Bad

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:53 am

Did you ever notice that it is easier to feel bad than to feel good? It’s conditioning.

Side Note: One of my mentors, Dr. Dave Dobson would take issue with me using the words “Bad” and “Good.” He teaches that they are words we learned when we were toilet trained and that we are taken back to those experiences on an “other-than-conscious” level even when we use those words in a different context. He recommends using words that we learned at the high school level that don’t carry the same baggage – words like “productive, beneficial, counter-productive, inappropriate, etc.”

Please keep Dave’s caveat in mind while reading this blog.

Back to my story . . . it seems like a contradiction but for many people to feel bad feels good. It’s conditioning. Perhaps some explanation will be helpful.

A number of people are divorced from their feelings. They can be stoic when others are coming unglued. That may be looked on in some circles as being in charge of their emotions. It has nothing to do with conscious control. These people have a hard time getting into their feelings. It’s conditioning. It seems that they have a difficult time rejoicing or celebrating or to use a fluffy set of words – “being happy.” The only way this person can sense their feelings is through misery or feeling bad about something.

This feeling “bad” is the only way they can turn their feeling circuit on. The result is that feeling bad lets them know they are alive.

Misery makes them feel alive. Pain makes them feel alive. Complaining makes them feel alive. Depressing themselves makes them feel alive. I also have this theory about people who crave hot, spicy foods. (not those cultures weaned on them). My sense is these foods turn on their feeling circuit. When their nose runs, they are alive, when their mouth burns a bit, they feel alive.

Some folks, whose “feel good” circuit is not functioning, find their way to drugs and alcohol to make them feel “good.” For some, sexual pleasure is the only way they can feel alive. They can’t seem to generate feeling without some external agent. It’s conditioning!

There are many of us who fall into the category of “baby boomers” – people who were brought up by parents that lived through some tough times – depression, world wars, rationing. The parents had inured themselves to pain. It was the only way to get through the time. They passed that on. Any baby boomer can recite the stories of their parents walking long distances to school through feet of snow, or not having enough to eat, or ample clothing to wear. I’m sure you’ve heard your version of these stories. The “stiff upper lip pattern” that they learned got passed on to their children.

Notice that, in most cases, the children had it much better than the parents and their children have it much better than them. It should be cause for celebration. For many, the conditioning prevents them from noticing how much better they have it and the deadened feeling patterning rules the day.

The thing that I’ve come to recognize is that feeling “bad” for some people is better than no feeling at all. You can’t logically convince them by comparison. You may even give them your version of the old anonymous quote, “There was a man who complained because he had no shoes until he met a man who had no feet.” They may take pause about that comparison but will continue to lament moments later about having no shoes again.

It’s less about the shoes and more about being able to feel alive.

Artificial generation of aliveness (alcohol, drugs, sex, etc.) is short term and has very little residual effect. For these people their natural state of aliveness has been blocked by conditioning and cannot flow unless they create a temporary shunt to allow some of it in. This is hard work and the results don’t last.

Aliveness does exist for everyone. It’s ready to flow the minute you recognize it exists for you. This recognition of aliveness will take some practice for many and the results are worth the effort.

Eckhart Tolle has a brilliant exercise that he does where he has you focus your attention on your hands. You can do it right now. Notice the sensations going on in your hands right now. That sensation you are feeling is aliveness and it is always there. It just needs you to practice recognizing it.

I created a CD many years ago that assists you with this practice. It’s called RELAX IN 2 MINUTES. It has you focus on what’s going on in each body part so you can notice the aliveness that is always there. The progression through the body with this exercise has a wonderful side effect – your body unwinds and relaxes.

You can quickly learn this technique and begin doing it on your own anytime, anywhere. The gentle noticing of aliveness helps you relax into your feelings as you get in touch with your body. You no longer have to feel bad to feel good.

All the best,


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