Getting Yourself Out of the “Bad Feelings are Wrong” Mind Trap

This article is derived from a great book, “Get Out of Your Own Way” by Dr. Tom Rusk
We all have times when we feel bad. When we are below the #8 (Boredom) on the emotional scale. Feeling bad can mean we feel fearful, powerless, depressed, jealous, grieving, angry, pessimistic, worried, blaming.  These emotions don’t feel good, far from it. Worse yet is we usually make ourselves wrong for feeling bad too! So we feel bad, and feel worse about feeling bad.

We have grown up in a world where we have to justify why we feel bad, thus making it a shameful emotion to be avoided, except we can’t Not feel bad, that would mean we have lost all our feelings. Our feelings are guides and signals to us that we are not living our truth and are “playing small”.

The fields of psychology and psychiatry have done us a grave disservice in separating feelings out of their trades. It makes sense as feelings are messy and difficult to put a label on.

Bad Feelings show us where our spirit is in pain 

To find your way out Dr. Rusk suggests the following attitude.

“If I hope to be loved  and loving, to discover and develop my talents and to find meaningful ways to use my time. i must stay attuned to my spirit and allow it to guide me in my decisions. That means paying close attention  to my feelings, because they are the medium through which my spirit is revealed to me.

I’m going to stop seeing myself as defective when I feel bad. Instead I’m going to try to figure out why my spirit is in pain. keeping a notebook and writing down what I’m feeling when I have strong feelings can help me learn to understand what my feelings are telling me.”

This is pretty deep and I find it very comforting and loving to our inner child who is afraid and small. We all need to be more empathetic and less judgmental of our feelings (especially those that feel bad).

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Assertiveness: Your Rights and Responsabilities

 Assertiveness: Your Rights and Responsabilities
To be assertive you need to believe in both a) your individual rights and b) the rights of others. This balance is shown below, rights are standard  and responsabilities italics. As you read these, check statements that make you uncomfortable or which DO NOT reflect your normal behavior. This is from the United Nations.
If you are not assertive memorize the 1st ones, if you are aggressive memorize the 2nd ones.
  • I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
        I have the responsability to treat others with the same dignity and respect I desire from them.
  • I have the right to decide what is best for me.
         I have the responsability to allow others to decide what is best for them.
  • I have the right to have and express my own feelings and opinions.
        I have the responsabilty to express those feelings and opinions in a way that does not insult or put others down.
  • I have the right to ask for what I want and need.
        I have the responsability to allow others to refuse my request even though I don’t like to be refused.
  •  I have the right to say “NO” without feeling guilty.
         I have the responsability to allow others the right to say “NO”
  • I have the right to be listened to and taken seriously.
        I have the responsability to listen to others and take them seriously 
  •  I have the right to make mistakes.
         I have the responsability to accept the consequences of those mistakes. 
  • I have the right to all my human weaknesses and limitations without guilt or shame.
        I have the responsability to allow others their weaknesses without ridiculing or resenting them.
  •  I have the right to do what is necessary to protect my physical and mental health even though this sometimes requires non-assertive or aggressive  behavior and discomforting of others.
         I have the responsability to do this in a way that causes the least amount of harm to both myself and others.
       
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