Do you believe that you deserve to feel good or is feeling good something you have little control over? Something that only other people get to experience - those who are younger, luckier, smarter, healthier, or more powerful? What if feeling good is our birthright? If that is true, why do so many of us NOT feel good and are resigned to tolerate a low level of misery?
Most of us have been taught that good feelings come from the outside of us in the form of pleasant experiences – including positive responses from others. Few of us were taught to create those good feelings inside ourselves by actively choosing what feels best to us. In fact, many of us were taught to ignore our natural instinct to move towards what felt good to us.
I learned as a child that feeling good comes from my key relationships. If I said please and thank you, my mother would smile and hug me and tell me I'm a good girl. That taught me if I did what she said and made HER feel good, then she would reciprocate and make me feel good. If I made my boyfriend feel good, he would be loving to me and then I felt good. If I did a good job at work and made my boss or clients feel good, I would be rewarded with praise or promotion, and that felt good.
These experiences created the belief that it is my job to make others feel good, and it's their job to make me feel good. A misplaced assumption that created a big disconnect inside of me. I spent so much energy focused on what made others feel good, I lost my connection to my insides that told me what feels good to me.
Slowly, slowly, I’ve been reclaiming this right to take care of, honor, and respect what feels best to me regardless what others think do or feel. Knowing what I want and don’t want moment-to-moment and then finding ways to honor that on my own behalf has allowed me to stop looking outside of myself to feel good. It is not our responsibility to make others feel good. How could it be? We don't know what feels best to anyone but ourselves. It IS our responsibility to support ourselves in feeling good - and it’s time to come back to that awareness inside of ourselves.
At one point in my journey to feeling good, I was angry and felt used by everyone in my life who still wanted me to 'make them feel good'. It was an unspoken agreement that no longer felt acceptable to me. I realized it was my job to make my needs important and find ways to get them met and to let other people do the same thing for themselves instead of trying to do it for them. I let a few relationships go, turned a few around, and understand now that when others wanted me to make them feel good, it wasn’t about me at all. It was the unspoken agreement that is so pervasive in our culture. Now I don’t need to try and make others feel good and instead focus on honoring what feels best to me in each situation and relationship in my life.
I can choose to feel good in every moment of my life. I can make choices of what to do or not do, who to be with or stay away from based in what feels best to me.
Are you ready to reclaim your right to feel good?
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