Friday, September 2, 2016

Cheer up, Charlie

When he was a little boy, I used to sing the Cheer up, Charlie song from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to my son when he was sad. He has grown so much since that time. Last night at the dinner table he was telling me how he doesn't like being cheered up when he is sad or angry. I like to feel what I feel to know how to deal with it, he said.

Feel what we feel. This is what many of us fail to do when something or someone makes us feel unhappy, discouraged, disappointed or mad, and in doing so, we fail to learn and we fail to grow. It is easier to numb ourselves with social media, tv, wine, shopping, work, exercise, drugs and any other thing we do in excess to avoid or to deaden our feelings. It is not pleasant to feel sadness, anger, uncertainty, anxiety and frustration. But if we want to avoid falling into patterns of repeated actions and reactions, change our conditioned responses, or understand ourselves, we must feel what we feel, mindfully. When we become aware of our feelings and accept them without judgment we can then deal with the issues that underlie our feelings.

Today is a good day to acknowledge our feelings, mindfully, and become aware of what they signal to. Then we can not only deal with our feelings, but with the issues that arise from that awareness. They may point to an action we must take, an idea we must let go, or a decision we must make. What are you feeling today?
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