There are 'good' feelings, and 'bad' feelings. But why do we value the 'good' feelings more highly? It feels nice to be happy. Joy is light. These feelings are lovely. However, in the pursuit of these feelings, we sometimes do whatever we need to do to get to that feeling.
The 'bad' feelings are uncomfortable. Sometimes they make us cry, or they ache in our bodies.
I'm not saying that all experiences in life are equal. I'm not saying that difficult things are easy. I am suggesting that the good and the bad feelings are all a part of the human experience, are all equally important. The lessons that we learn from the uncomfortable feelings can be great, and wonderful, if we allow ourselves to feel them when they come.
If we pursue the 'good' feelings, and push away the 'bad' feelings, the 'bad' feelings don't go away. I think of it this way. In me I have a pool of shame, and another one of grief, one of anger, sadness and so on. I also have a pool of happiness, joy, bliss etc. The pools are the places where emotions I haven't dealt with go to wait. If I feel anger, and I have a lot of anger that hasn't been resolved, the anger that I experience in that moment is the sum of all the unresolved anger. I get dumped into the pool of anger, as big as I have let it become. Same goes for shame, sadness. The only way that I am able to shrink the size of the pool is to experience those feelings.
So, when I feel sadness coming, instead of pushing it aside and trying to feel happy, it's better for me to feel the sadness. Take some time to feel it in my body, notice where I feel that sadness, and perhaps ask my body what it needs in that moment.
This seems backwards, I know. But the interesting thing is, that once I've felt the 'bad' feeling, instead of going into the pool of sadness, those feelings leave. The situation that I'm in isn't necessarily resolved, but my feelings, my emotional reaction to it might change. And sometimes, when the sadness, or anger, or grief has been felt — truly felt, experienced — a sense of peace arrives.
'Bad feelings' and 'good feelings' are all a part of our human experience. They're all valuable.
Tonight as we walked, we talked about our 'bad' feelings. We felt things we maybe didn't want to, expressed things that we'd rather not say. It didn't change what was happening, but it did allow us to move through and past some of those feelings, and that was a good thing.