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SARK, in her Great Life Letter this week, talked about this.

I, for one, want to always feel good.  If I don’t, I promptly think I’m doing something wrong and want to get out of it as soon as possible.  The truth is, no one feels cheerful and happy all the time.  I think what SARK’s getting at is that, rather than haul yourself out of the funk, get into it.  Make friends with it.

SARK says, “It’s about finding and feeling as many glad parts as you can . . .” But it has to start by being willing to feel what you’re feeling.

I’ve heard it said a lot that the only way to transmute bad feelings is to feel them.  I don’t think I’ve ever fully grasped that.  But I think it’s about working with what SARK’s talking about: That middle point where life is what it is.

Rather than trying to medicate, feed, distract yourself from whatever you’re feeling, you need to face it.  Come to terms with it.  Saying this is where I am right now, feeling this.  Without judgment or plans to escape.  Being with it.

When you do that, immerse yourself, maybe there are spots that feel good within it.  Maybe there’s something quiet, relaxing or exciting about the feelings. Perhaps it says you’re alive.

It’s like anything, you get used to it.  Like jumping into cool water.  It’s a shock at first, but then you even things out and it feels okay.  At work, they changed a site I work with a lot.  When I first started using it, I found a task had become frustrating and tedious.  I had to move through 500 names, 10 at a time, waiting each time for the system to bring up the next names.  Doing this task, I would get bug-eyed and feel like I was falling asleep waiting for it.  But after doing it a couple hundred times, I’ve gotten used to it.  It no longer feels so tedious and difficult.  I believe this is the process of transmutation.

But it takes being willing to dive into that messy, chewy middle of things.  And then, making a choice to be glad, to honor the process of transforming the feelings.

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