Sep 26, 2012

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Feeling Bad for Feeling Good?!

Feeling Bad for Feeling Good?!

Life is Amazing. And Intricate. And Crazy.

Looking back at our existence five months ago – in the middle of dealing with our idiot landlord and all the people willing to lie for him, psychotic and ungrateful roommates,ย  lawyers & court fees, and having to pack and move out of a house we lived in for four years in four days without knowing where our next home would beย  – I can’t believe how far we have come in such a short amount of time.

If you would have told me back in April, that in just a few months I would be:

  • enjoying a gorgeous home overlooking Willamette Falls while paying less rent
  • having no need for roommates
  • living down the street from million-dollar homes
  • spending less money on bills and utilities
  • celebrating Adam’s (my husband) new job with better pay, benefits, future potential, and work environment
  • continuously accepting gifts of various forms from unexpected places
  • in a position to start paying off old debt as well as keeping up with current needs
  • excited about a class I am currently writing
  • feeling more confident in my performing and singing abilities
  • writing songs with ease
  • sharing friendships and connections with a wider circle of amazing individuals
  • participating in musical projects with other great musicians
  • shifting out of resistance to waking up early on a more regular basis (especially Sunday)
  • experiencing a deep sense of inner peace and love for others as well as for myself…

…I would have called Major Bullshit!! Yet here I am, in the middle of this awesome life.

And yet, even as I type all this, there is this ingrained part of me that says I can’t feel all the way good about all of my good (it might be taking away from someone else!). Or that somehow by proclaiming my gratitude for all of this goodness, that I am “rubbing it in” for those who may not be experiencing as much good right now. What kind of crap is that?!

Well, one of the most accepted forms of communication in our culture seems to be the Pity Party. You all know how it goes – one person starts complaining about how bad their life is (or someone else’s), and everyone easily joins in, each adding a little more despair to the pile. “Oh, you think that is bad, wait until you hear about this!” And on and on it goes. How depressing, and yet how familiar.

So my question is, where are all the Gratitude Parties? Not out of oneupmanship, but out of celebration of the goodness we are all experiencing? Why should we feel bad if our life is going good and someone else’s isn’t? In reality, our life feeling “good” or “bad” is just an inner atmosphere anyway, not based on the outer effects of life. We all know rich people who are miserable or poor people who’s smile is so bright it is blinding. We all know sad and depressed married people and perfectly satisfied single people. We all know someone who has a great job who hates it and someone who has a horrible job who manages to come home happy every day. Happiness or satisfaction doesn’t come from what is going on in our lives, it comes from our reaction to it and our perception of ourselves in the middle of it. So why is our usual cultural reaction to look for (and almost idealize) the negative in any situation, and have that be the focus of what we share with others? If what we focus on grows, what are we then saying we want more of?

I think part of it is our underlying belief in civilization that “there isn’t enough.” We have been taught, somewhere along the way, that if we “have” good, then someone else is going without, or has less. I could touch upon that belief a lot more, but I think that is a whole other blog post. What I can know for sure, is that if happiness is really something that goes on inside, no matter what the outside of our lives looks like, then there can’t be a finite amount of it. Is there a bucket of Joy somewhere and when it is emptied no one else gets any more? Of course not!

What we tend to believe is that if we “show-off” our brilliance of Light and Joy, then others will feel badly when they compare their lot to ours. Sadly, this reinforces the idea that they aren’t capable of having our level of good, and, in my experience, is totally backward – I know because I used to think that way. I used to think that I had to hide my joy, and my talents, and my light from others. I thought that I would be taken as “too much” or that I would push people away or that it would mean I was conceited. I feared that I would lose connections with others the bigger and more secure in my own skin I became. Thankfully, I was mistaken. Now I know the Truth – that the more I shine my light, the more I give permission to others to do the same. Now I have experienced that when my life is getting better, and I share what I see with my friends, they begin to focus on all the good stuff in their lives that was already happening (which naturally attracts more good to them). When I can celebrate my own accomplishments with others, they feel comfortable coming to me the next day to share theirs. And this is where the Gratitude Parties begin.

I still have some work to do. As I said earlier, I still have that old tape playing in the back that is trying to convince me not to even post this blog because it might upset someone who can’t relate to the Joy and Love and Peace I am currently embracing and embodying in my life right now. I still catch myself downplaying my good when I am talking to someone who I know is going through a hard time. And that is all part of my journey. What I know, is that I am willing to stand in my Truth, and that I am on the path of letting go of Feeling Bad for Feeling Good. I hope you’ll join me! What is going great in your life today? Share it!

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  1. Shine on! Your bright glorious light illuminates a better future. Your inner spender and outward brilliance and talent are my inspiration. Shine onโ€ฆShine on!

    Allow me to be party to your party: I am grateful for knowing you.

  2. Great blog Star, I agree with you that it’s time to start having Gratitude parties instead of pity parties! I’m so grateful that I have great friends, a place to live, I get to go to CA next week and see my kids and grandkids! Life is GOOD!!!

  3. katie phillips says:

    thanks for sharing Starr! happy i am a part of your growing light, as a new friend!! i too am so over the pity-party, let’s plan a gratitude party ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Shine on, Starr! ๐Ÿ™‚

    LOVE the idea of Gratitude Parties — perpetual Gratitude Party at my house!!!

    And remember, when someone else is in a dark place, it may well be the shining of your light that gives them the strength to move through it to the other side — or, at the very least, shows them that there are other ways of being out there!


    • I think I am finally getting that, Shannon. I know there have been some amazing people – including yourself – that I have needed to show me the way to a bigger and brighter life! Thanks for being one of them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Karma comes back to you. we all “pay in”…either with negative or positive energy…..and, i can’t emphasize enough, through patience(shedding the instant gratification part of our culture)we eventually reach the payback….looks like you have come to yours, in whole or in part, and when you can shine your light and lift others up you begin to feel what i call “larger love”. Sing! Create!! Enjoy!!! Spread it around….and remember, Karma works…..G

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