Feelings can bring us pleasure, comfort, happiness even! They provide a compass for how things are and how we’re handling them.

Enough of that, let’s get negative!

I want to ask you…do you ever get a feeling that’s something like a violin string stretched tight from your brain to your stomach & it’s screeching a very high pitched note which puts you on edge?

I was having a good day recently but I kept getting that irritating, ‘stretched violin string’ feeling. After putting up with it for most of the day I was brushing my teeth when, I looked at myself in the mirror and said, ‘what is that feeling?’ out loud. After a few false starts, an answer which felt right popped up in my head…’Irritation.’

By doing this over time, I’ve asked myself enough questions to know the difference between a right answer and a wrong answer when I get one…it’s just a feeling (by the way, if you’re not confident in your own judgement just try asking yourself for an opinion a few times and you’ll find out how to tell the ones that feel right. One of the ways I can tell if I’ve got the right response is the feeling of relief when I go with it. 

So, I’ve asked myself the question and got an answer. What next?

Look for the cause. Several candidates came up and by measuring the degree of annoyance they created I found the culprit (which, by the way, was the last thing on my conscious mind).

Now, when I’ve reached this stage in this feelings ID process I ask myself ‘Why that? and if I can’t give myself a reasonable answer it might be time to get a second opinion. It’s another good feeling’s check.

At this stage in my self consultation I’ll usually get enough of a boost to apply a remedy that I’ve identified…and here comes the big payoff…before I started naming those troubling feelings, they were able to dominate me totally because they were anonymous and I didn’t know what I was dealing with and that makes it difficult to apply appropriate action. This could explain why most of my self-remedies were inappropriate and although they gave me a quick escape they left me with a whole a lot of new emotions and pain. That’s a mean, vicious cycle.

Recognising a recurring feeling, turning round and facing it, naming what’s wrong and dealing with it, this course of action triggers an outpouring of the good feelings I was looking for when I was running away from myself and my anonymous feelings.

That’s a kind, gentle cycle.