I think most people believe that feeling good is that upbeat, happy-go-lucky, smiley sensation that can be either charming or irritating in other people. Or maybe feeling good is the briefest of moments in an otherwise downer experience.
In either event, feeling food is equated with happiness. Trouble is, happiness in this respect also tends to be viewed as fleeting.
To quote Denis Leary,
“Happiness comes in small doses folks. It’s a cigarette butt, or a chocolate chip cookie or a five-second orgasm. You cum, you smoke the butt you eat the cookie you go to sleep wake up and go back to fucking work the next morning, THAT’S IT!”
Feeling good is not the same as this idea of happiness. It’s a far broader notion that is much more about feeling content and purposeful. It’s that sense of satisfaction that you are not just going with the flow and simply existing — but having an impact and control over your destiny.
That’s what its really all about. Feeling good is not about smiling or being in an amazing headspace all the time. It’s about feeling purposeful and intentional in life.
You have choices every day
When you get up in the morning you choose how your day will be. Will you choose to just go with whatever comes your way, or do you have plans? Is there an intention for what you will do today?
The point is that you have choices. Multiple, variable choices every single day. When you act on a choice you create an intention to drive yourself to get somewhere and to work with and on purpose.
I know that shit happens. You wake up in the morning and immediately throw out your back. You get into a car accident. Someone dies. Before you know it, circumstances outside of your control drive your day.
No, you would not choose such things. But what you do choose is how you react to them. Do they derail you and take over your day — or do work with, through, and around them? Even when the most undesirable things happen to you, it’s your decision for how long they will impact you.
It’s not possible to avoid this — nor should you. However, it’s important to recognize that, in time, you need to stop reacting and choose action instead. Only you will know how much time that will be — and its never the same twice.
Feeling good as the opposite of things that happen which make you feel bad can seem like an impossible challenge. But feeling good in the more general sense of choosing intent and taking a direction for your life, and finding purpose, is another matter.
Everyone has a purpose
Admittedly, many people haven’t the foggiest what they are doing here. Sometimes that’s for lack of trying, and other times it’s a matter of trial and error. Also, there is never one single given reason you are living.
Sometimes the smallest action has a huge impact. For all you know that kid you just held the door open for had given up on the world and was about to do something stupid. But because you held the door open, they have found good in the world. Rather than do something stupid they make a reasoned choice and do something amazing that makes the world better.
This may not be so far-fetched as it seems. Why? Because that something amazing that person does might impact just one person — same as what you did for them. But all that positive energy and good feeling being created have meaning and purpose.
It is all too easy to lose sight of having a purpose. Society loves to create drones and sheep. Truth is, we are not a part of a hive mind, but individuals. Ergo, you are capable of virtually anything you put your mind to.
Hence, everyone has a purpose. Part of finding it involves taking control of your thoughts, feelings, and actions and living with intent.
Mindfulness is how you work with that. The awareness of what you are thinking, what and how you are feeling, and the actions available to you opens you to be intentional and purposeful.
That, in turn, feels good.
Your sense of accomplishment
When you do something — big or small — that you set out to do, and it is done, you feel accomplished. It might just be doing the dishes. Going for a walk. Choosing what to order for lunch. You acted with intent and purpose and it made you feel good.
That is what feeling good really is. Every single self-help, inspirational, psychological work on the topics of mindfulness, positivity, conscious reality creation, and so on are not talking about shiny-happy-people feeling good. It’s about the good feeling that comes of thinking, feeling, and acting on purpose and with intent.
When you don’t choose with intent, more often than not you feel a sense of loss. It may be specifically loss of control. You did not act on or with purpose and intent, so there is no corresponding good feeling coming from your sense of accomplishment.
Even if you do something in this way, it tends to feel hollow.
Feeling good is about the sense of accomplishment borne of purpose and intent. It takes very little to reach this state. And, every little thing that gets you there gets added together. It does have a cumulative effect.
Feeling good is not perpetual — and that’s okay
Nobody feels intentional, purposeful, and good all the time. You simply can’t. Congratulations, you’re human. You will have bad days, experience shit over which you have ZERO control, and be impacted by people, places, and things in the world at large.
You can, will, and should experience emotions both good and bad. Why? Because that’s life. Good and bad happen. To everyone.
Hence, when you have a lousy day, get hurt physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, don’t beat yourself up for feeling bad. Feel it. Experience it.
However — in recognizing and acknowledging the feeling, decide when and how to release it or use it to create change. That is your power — you can change your thoughts, feelings, and actions at any time.
Yes, other people may be baffled by you. I know I have done things that caused people, even close to me, to scratch their heads and wonder WTF? But the only person over whom I can exert any control is me. And I would rather exert that control than cede it to someone not me.
So, it’s ok to not feel good, but also ok to choose when and how to stop feeling bad. Neither feeling, good or bad, is as big and typically overstated and over-generalized as they are. The notion of feeling good is more about a sense of contentedness and purpose. Hence why feeling bad is more a sense of dissatisfaction and discouragement.
Every day you get to choose how you are feeling. When you recognize that “feeling good” is much smaller and more attainable than you presently believe, you can work to experience that — and use it to consciously create the best reality for you.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter and feeling good takes far less than we tend to believe it does.