Inquiry: I need to feel good

I need to feel good.

  1. True?
    Yes. It feels that way sometimes. And when it does, I can find stories that support it and take it for granted. And others who agree.
  2. Sure?
  3. What happens when I have that thought?
    • I monitor myself to see if I feel good. If I don’t I feel and tell myself that something is wrong. I look for ways to make myself feel good again, and look for reasons why I may not feel good.
    • There is a sense of unease. Something is off. There is sometimes a sense of dread, of doom. Of being on the wrong track. Having done something wrong. Of my life going in a wrong direction.
    • I interpret feelings as “good” or not. I may be quicker to interpret a feeling as good or not since I have that belief. And I may even err on the side of interpreting feelings as not good just to be on the safe side.
    • What do I hope to get out of that belief? I hope to notice when I don’t feel good, and then find ways to feel good again. I feel I am taking care of myself. Protecting myself.
    • What do I actually get out of it? A sense of something being wrong. Off. Wrong track.
    • When did I first have that thought? Probably as a kid, when I realized that adults and others around me had that belief. You can feel good or not good. It is good to feel good and bad to not feel good. Something is wrong if I don’t feel good. I need to feel good. I adopted that belief as my own. I wanted to do the right thing. I wanted to be a good human being. I wanted to learn from those around me. So I adopted that belief. I decided to live as if it is true.
  4. Who would I be without it?
    • Receptive. Curious about what I feel, curious about the sensations without labels.
    • Whether I feel good or not good – according to what my culture tells me – it is OK. It is a sensation. An experience. A part of the richness of human experience.
    • I find appreciation for how I feel, for the sensations themselves, no matter how they may be labeled.
    • I notice that it is all sensations and an interpretation, a label.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • I don’t need to feel good.
      • Right. What I am is here anyway, whether I label how I feel good or not good.
      • When I don’t feel good, and notice that it doesn’t impact what I am, it is very helpful. It helps release identification out of feeling good, or – as in this case – having to feel good.
      • I can get things done anyway. And if not, that is OK too. (For instance when I am sick.)
      • Life didn’t come with a promise or a contract saying that I am entitled to feel good. At least, I haven’t seen one. (Apart from in my own mind, in my own imagination.)
    • I need to feel not good.
      • Yes. That seems more true. I need to feel not-good so I can notice that what I am is not impacted by either one. What I am is still here.
      • It can be helpful feedback. I eat something, don’t feel good, and it tells me to be a little more cautious around eating in that way. (Eating that food, or that food under those circumstances.) I have a fever, and it tells me to stay in bed or go to the doctor. In that way, “not feeling good” in a conventional sense can be a helpful and practical pointer. So sometimes, I need to not feel good as a message to myself.
      • It is part of the human experience. It is shared by all animals. It helps me relate to others when they feel in a similar way. It opens my heart.
    • My thinking needs to feel good.
      • Yes, when I have that belief, my thinking thinks it needs me to feel good tells me I need to feel good. It is all in the imagination.
      • When thinking is free from belief, it feels good. It is just thought. Imagination. Appreciated as that. As a practical pointer at most, and at times not even that.
    • My thinking needs to feel not good.
      • Yes. When stories are taken as true there is discomfort. It doesn’t feel good. I imagine the world is/should be a certain way, it is different (again according to my images), and there is discomfort. I have images of how the world should be. The world reminds me it is different, again according to my images. And there is discomfort. It is valuable feedback. I wouldn’t want to be without that feedback.

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