The Quest To Feel Better

"Feelings don't want to be healed; they want to be held.


"Feelings don't want to be healed; they want to be held." Jeff Foster

"Be curious, not judgmental." Ted Lasso


Last Thursday, a strong, somewhat nondescript feeling of "ick" pervaded my body.

The feeling arose after receiving a comment that wasn't overtly offensive, but was nonetheless taken as a "hit" to this well-formed ego of mine. The "ick" was sort of a swirling, prickly mixture of sadness, disappointment, and unworthiness. YUCK.

Almost immediately, my mind rushed to my defense with a long list of evidence that I am indeed not a disappointment or lacking in worth. My efficient little ego presented a compelling slate of examples of times when I have excelled, exceeded expectations, and overcome daunting obstacles with resounding success.

"Yep," that adorable narrator in my head reassured me, "You are, indeed, amazing! Push those irritating feelings aside and return to the good stuff."

And then, out of nowhere, there was a complete abandoning of my desire to escape the ick. I suddenly stopped wanting to push it aside to get to the good stuff.

I knew, of course, that the stories of unworthiness and disappointment were lies. That much was obvious.

But, in that moment, I sensed that the icky feelings and sensations in my body were there to be honored, to be held, to be felt.

The feelings weren't personal and were not even caused by the "hurtful “comment. (Read that again with curiosity, not judgment).

The comment was simply the most efficient way for those feelings to finally make it into my conscious awareness. The comment was the perfect vehicle for bringing the feelings to the sunlight to be seenand felt.

The feelings and sensations did not want to be dismissed or pushed away to make room for better or more palatable feelings.

Jeff Foster describes these types of feelings as unwanted children who have come to our door. They are asking to be loved and held exactly as they are. They have been waiting for years, decades, or even generations, for someone to be courageous enough to welcome them in with open arms.

The quest to feel better is one of the mind's oldest and trickiest little tricks!

The mind is so skilled at establishing benchmarks for what "better" means, and it usually places all discomfort and icky feelings in the bucket of "not better yet."

So, we stay stuck, trying in vain to find ways to make the unwanted feelings and experiences go away. The more force and determination we use to hold back the unwanted feelings, the harder they work to find a way in.

So we find ourselves "armoring"building protective layers so that sadness, fear, disappointment, and humiliation have no chance of getting in. But, in doing so, our minds keep us in a state of vigilance and stress. After all, if those feelings are not allowed "in," then our mind must be ever-vigilant about keeping them "out."

But, WHAT IF (my heart's favorite question)....what if those feelings of sadness, fear, hopelessness, and all the others we've been taught to hold at bay are actually INVITATIONS?

What if they have been part of our preconscious and subconscious programming for decades and are simply showing up now because we are READY and EQUIPPED to see them, hold them, and honor them for what they truly are.

WHAT IF, instead of pressing down or pushing away these "unwanted children" in search of better ones, we invite them in we offer them our unconditional love and presence. Imagine the peace and the incredible freedom of having an open heart that no longer has to build fortresses to protect itself from something that is innately safe? And yes, ALL feelings are inherently safe. It's our resistance to them and our misunderstanding of them that can lead us into suffering.

Imagine the falling-away of all mental exhaustion when we stop striving so hard to "figure out" the cause-and-effect stories of situations and feelings. What if, when you have an icky feeling, you don't go into your intellect to search for the cause in hopes of fixing it? What if a feeling (and accompanying sensation) can simply move through you without needing to have a meaning or cause attached to it?

WHAT IF the icky feelings and sensations in the body are not evidence of something going wrong but instead, they are evidence of the healing of old, worn-out beliefs?

Imagine how much simpler it would be to have an open heart if you know that those feelings and sensations are in service of you?

What if they are the very MECHANISM for the healing of those old, worn-out beliefs such as "I am not good enough, safe, or worthy?"

What if you don't ever need to waste time or energy trying to figure out how to have more of some feelings and less of others? After all, none of them are personal. They aren't about youyour ego, your intellect, your little narrator. They are about a lifetime of old, worn-out beliefs that are ready to be seen and dissolved.

Last Thursday, I saw much more clearly that I am the space of peace and unconditional love through which every single feeling and experience is allowed to pass.

Naturally, my normal, healthy, human mind will continue to pair feelings with circumstances, insisting that outside circumstances are causing me to suffer. And it will continue to provide all kinds of evidence and drama. But, I'm onto that adorable, protective, little liar. It's so cute in its attempts to secure its story of me.

When I can fall out of my head and into my heart, I am able to welcome all feelings. I am able to see, very clearly, that discomfort is not a signal to escape. It is an invitation to be still, to trust, and to be curious.

The icky feelings that my mind once interpreted as evidence of unworthiness are now seen as evidence for healing already in progress. All I need to do is open the door and say, "Hello, come on in." ❤️


If you'd like to be part of a FREE 45-minute discussion about this, please join me in two upcoming webinars. The first is THIS WEDNESDAY, November 9th at 3pm Eastern Time. Just contact me by email or by clicking on the "Contact Me" button to receieve the Zoom link.



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