I have been working on a new theory and wasn’t going to write about it until I really had it nailed. Then I realized that is my fall back avoidance technique so I am just throwing it out there now and hoping to get feedback from all of you!
I think I mentioned a while back about the idea that feeling bad or guilty is a replacement for action. I heard this idea in the Design Your Life class I took. The discussion was about being in or keeping your integrity. If you do what you say you will do, you have integrity. If you don’t do what you said you will do, you are out of integrity. Now comes a choice. You can either take action to remedy the situation. This can be tough because it probably involves telling the truth about why you didn’t do whatever “it” was. Option B is that you can feel bad about not doing “it” and make up for it through self-flagellation. For example, “I was 30 minutes late for the appointment because I couldn’t be bothered to get ready on time, but I feel really badly about it,” or “I know I said I would go to the party and I stayed home on the couch instead, but I feel reeeaaallly guilty.” This one is a classic, “I know I promised I would get more exercise and I haven’t done shit, but I feel really crappy about myself. Does that make up for it?”
You get the idea. This concept totally made sense to me and I could see how much less time I could spend feeling badly if I simply said what I meant and did what I said. Well, simply might be a stretch… it’s a learning curve really.
The more time I have spent slowing down, meditating, and listening to how I am feeling, the more I have started to think that feeling bad is really a guide in all areas of my life. Feeling guilty, sad, angry, disappointed or frustrated is really a spiritual nudge to get my butt back on track. When I realize I am driving around white knuckled or grinding my teeth down to nubs I start to run down the list of what could be causing it. Is there something I need to tell somebody? Did I not handle a situation in a positive way? Is there something I am avoiding?Whatever it is I can decide if I want to go back to fix it or just take a few minutes to learn from that FEELING. I have found a pattern for myself and I am guessing all of us have our own “feeling code” we can learn. I know when I am feeling restless, irritable and just put out in general it is usually because I am not moving forward towards my goals. Allowing fear to hold me back does not seem to agree with me!
I am thinking too about feelings in your body. Could physical pain or illness be signs too that we are “out of alignment”? I shy away from committing to this idea because I feel an element of blame. I would never want someone dealing with illness or pain to feel somehow judged or at fault. On the other hand I think of what a wonderful thing it would be if we could all learn how to understand messages our body was sending us. “My back is acting up again. I really have to stop bad mouthing my neighbor.” I just ordered a book from Louise Hay. I am curious to see how she explains these concepts. What do you think? Have you had any experiences with this yourself?