Feeling Good Doesn’t Mean You’re ‘In Denial’ of Your Problems

Feeling Good Doesn’t Mean You’re ‘In Denial’ of Your Problems

Can you recall feeling a moment of calm, peace, contentment – or dare I say even HAPPINESS –  despite life…well….sucking?

My guess is that you’ll scoff ‘no, of course not’, but you actually have experienced this and you either: 

  1. Didn’t notice 
  1. Immediately dismissed it to roll around with your problems again. 

We get so used to feeling bad that when we do experience a fleeting moment of loveliness, we either don’t notice or think we are in denial of our problems. 

Get outta here, good thoughts! Go!

Then we attack the nice feeling with our thoughts. 

“Why am I feeling happy today? I’ve got tons of stuff to do at work, I’m not at the weight I want to be, the car repairs are going to cost a fortune, there’s nothing in for dinner, my mother-in-law is coming at the weekend…..” blah blah blah. 

….then poof! We’ve shooed the happiness away with our thoughts. 

The bit where I talk about myself

I wouldn’t have described it in this way back then but when I lived in a self-reinforcing swirl of anxiety and insecurity, ‘medicated’ with alcohol, drugs and an eating disorder, I would experience these fleeting moments of Being Totally OK And Even Quite Peaceful. 

They would confuse me. “But my life is a fucking mess!” I would mutter to myself as I noticed a feeling of ….ease and niceness (It’s hard to describe the feeling). It didn’t make sense to feel OK, even for a second, when I had all these ‘problems’. I always ended up attributing the feeling to residual drunkenness or a chemical still puttering around my bloodstream. 

It didn’t occur to me that it could be ‘real’. That I was experiencing my natural state, my innate wellbeing, in those moments. 

Even as I write this now I picture mid-twenties-me glaring with suspicion, contempt and scathing derision. Oh, honey *pats mid-twenties-me*

The bit where I reference a client

I was chatting to a lovely woman about this recently. We’ve been talking for a while and she has a wonderful sense of how us humans work; the arbitrary, impersonal and ephemeral nature of thought; and the cute but misguided way our brains try and help us. 

She’s ‘going through’ (whatever we make ‘going through’ mean) a breakup right now and described having an overwhelmingly lovely feeling of peace and tranquillity one morning. She went on to say how she could ‘see’ her mind be surprised at this and proclaim she ‘must be in denial’ of her problem if she was feeling good. Didn’t she realise she had a breakup to be dealing with? This is no time for feelings of peace! 

The ‘What if it’s not what we think?’ bit

What if it’s the other way round? What if, when we are feeling like shit and focusing on our ‘problems’, THAT is when we are in denial? When we think our problems are big and hard and suck, THAT is the denial part? That we are in denial of how our minds are designed to settle on their own, in denial that that peaceful feeling is our natural state, in denial that we have the intelligence of life constantly helping us thrive….

And the only thing keeping us away from all that is a ton of unchosen, erroneous, inherently variable but ultimately impersonal thought, appearing real?

The thing about this stuff is that it sounds…. unbelievable. It sounds too ‘new-age’, too nebulous, too weird and icky and intangible. I know this from personal experience, and my need for hard facts, strategies and evidence kept me stuck for way longer than necessary. 

But we only have to have a tiny glimpse of something – to trust, for just a moment, that there might be something here – to open it all up. 

Wow, even that very sentence is annoyingly abstract, huh? 

A bunch of stuff to ponder to see this for yourself

I invite you to notice those tiny, fleeting moments of being OK. I gently urge you to question whether it’s the circumstances of your life ‘making’ you feel the way you do. I ask you to be open to looking at our human experience in a new way. Notice that you feel terrible when you think about your problems and that you feel ok (or don’t notice how you feel at all!) when they aren’t on your mind. 

Could it be that our thoughts are the thing creating our experience? And, could it be that thoughts are always moving, changing, being replaced? And if so….what would that mean for how life seems as this thought-energy is constantly moving through…?

Still think it’s crap?

If your pesky thoughts are saying “this is absolute crap. How can you say I’m peaceful by nature when I have a crumbling marriage, money issues, a reckless teen [and/or insert problem of choice here]? Of course those are real problems!” Then send me a little email and let’s chat about it.