Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Good/Bad Set-up

Did you ever think about how many times in the day you're on the roller-coaster of "I'm good" ... "I'm bad"?
Someone tells you that you look good ... "Hey, I'm good". You missed your plane or an appointment ... "You're bad". You didn't eat that piece of chocolate in front of you ... "You're good". You got angry at your partner ... "You're bad". On and on, all day, every day. Fun!

I recently ran a class in which the participants were making lists of what they considered good and bad in the world. An interesting notation: They had no difficulty writing an endless list of "bads" - and had trouble coming up with "good" things. What is that?

Is seeing things as bad useful to us? People often say, "Well, that's how I know the things I don't want in my life ... I call them 'bad'." Could we not trust that we know what we WANT, and move towards them without having to call things bad? If we consider what we do when we call things bad, we may find it anti-productive for us. For example, if I call myself bad for forgetting to do something, I feel bad about myself, I get down, I gather more evidence of my insufficiency, and I have less, not more capacity to remember things in the future (because I believe I'm bad at that). IF I HAD SEEN MYSELF AS GOOD, EVEN THOUGH I'D FORGOTTEN, I'D FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF - AND COULD THEN FOCUS ON WAYS I COULD BE BETTER AT REMEMBERING IN THE FUTURE. Win-Win!

Now let's say I call my partner or child bad for not behaving in a way I think is appropriate. Again, I'd have the choice of simply highlighting what it is I want, go for it, and not have to judge anybody as bad. I'd be a lot more effective with those around me - and I'd feel better about not seeing them as bad.

The secret to an empowered, happy life is to see everything as good! (Yes, and still decide what we want in our lives moment to moment - and go for it.)

And it's good that I just banged my head on a post - because I want to be more present when I'm walking around. (If I saw it as bad, I'd learn nothing, and just hate the post.)

Isn't this more fun than the up and down of bad/good?
With lots of delight,

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