Isn’t that what everybody wants in life? Well, one of the things they want in life, to just feel good?
I would a venture a guess that the vast majority of us would want that, at least outwardly we will admit that to others. We see people all around us who are laughing, having a good time, hanging out with friends and family, and they just seem happy.
We hear co-workers talk about how good their weekend was, how awesome their spouse is, how well things are going, and it’s natural for us to want that for ourselves too. To be envious of their situations.
Now yes, I get it, not everything is as it seems, but run with me on this.
Let’s take a look at why it’s ok for us to feel bad about our past, and then follow it up with why we should want to feel good about our future.
Looking back at our growing up years, if your abuse happened when you were younger, like mine did, those truly “good days” were few and far between.
I was asked a question recently, when I was a kid how often did I feel like I was struggling with something, anything? My answer was, all the time, every day.
I was constantly struggling with being bullied, my self-image, effects of the sexual abuse, invalidation from my mother, lack of emotional care, the list goes on and on. There were very few times when I can look back with fond memories for any extended period of time.
Living with that type of daily struggle, it became familiar to me. Comforting in an uncomfortable way. That feeling of being broken, with zero self-esteem, was so familiar that I gravitated to it without even realizing it. If my day was going well, I had a feeling that sooner or later the bottom was going to fall out on me.
I couldn’t allow myself to enjoy life too much because I knew that it wouldn’t last. Besides the fact that I knew it wouldn’t last, it just felt weird. It felt odd, uncomfortable, and totally scary.
Who am I to feel good when my life has been craptastic for so long? Yes that’s one of my patented Matt-isms. How is someone who has been through childhood sexual abuse, bullying, narcissistic abuse, and 2 failed marriages, supposed to wake up and look forward to anything good?
I wake up each day and go to bed each night, wondering why am I worth trying to feel good about myself. I wonder how it feels to truly have a positive outlook on my day, much less my life. It’s a battle of wanting to feel good but not being able to accept that I am allowed too, or am able too.
I can totally justify to myself why I should feel like hell every day though, man that’s easy. Easy and familiar.
Let’s look at the flip side of maybe being ok with letting ourselves feel good, and possibly even embracing it. I know right, just breathe…
What if just being ok with feeling like hell all the time, is taking the easy way out and cheating ourselves out of something positive? What if feeling miserable at times is ok, but feeling good is ok too? What if it’s good to want to reap the benefits of our hard work at healing?
Is it possible that when we start to feel good, that we are able to take that and run with it?
Embracing the good about ourselves can propel us forward in healing, help us deal with the rough days a bit easier, enjoy the good days more, and encourage and inspire others.
There are a million reasons for us to stay stuck and miserable, but where has that really gotten us this far in life? Are we really, truly, honestly, happy? Have we given up on trying to feel good because it’s just too hard, or we don’t deserve to feel happy?
Nobody is going to pull you out of the miserable feeling, but you. It’s important to surround ourselves with encouraging people who will inspire us to seek the life we want. They can be a cheering section for us but they can’t do it for us.
Accept your past, but don’t it determine your future.
It’s up to us to want to feel better, and if want it bad enough, we will find a way to make it happen.
I can relate to all of this. All my life I have been told that I am naught, bad, that there is something (or many things) wrong with me. I have carried bricks of shame and guilt as long as I can remember. I gravitate toward hating myself and hurting myself and it’s hard for me to see the positives in me and the world around me. Sometimes I am extremely cheerful, but despair is more natural for me.
My therapist is having me try different things to get good feelings in…so far not very successful…I have a difficult time being ok with the so called good…because it seems like a drop in a huge dry lake. And Im on the look out for the bad right around the corner….so cant really enjoy or take it in.
Growing up for me …my dad did or said things that drew you in opened you up…like a baby bird…with the promise of the dangling worm…and opps…just kidding…sucker…you fell for it again….so its maddening to even go there….with any hope
With my current therapist we’ve figured out that being happy and putting myself first feels like I’m living in a foreign land. Why? Because I am. It is completely foreign for me to experience this peaceful existence and to practice self-care. I feel like I’ve entered another country and don’t know the customs or the language or the food. The great thing though is that I chose to move here.