Happiness flow chart (sorta).
I had the idea just now to make a flow chart about feeling good that covers all the general possibilities.
How do I feel right now?
Good! -> appreciate it!
Can I find a better feeling?
Yes! -> appreciate it!
Can I accept/make peace with where I am right now?
Yes. -> appreciate it.
Can I soothe myself?
Yes. -> keep soothing.
No. -> go have a nap, find a simple distraction, change the subject, get your mind off what is bothering you.
A more positive approach?
But this flow chart feels like it could be more positive. I mean, it’s good to demonstrate what to do when you feel bad, but it doesn’t really develop a good feeling.
For all intents and purposes, good feeling is the grace, spirit, divine presence, whatever you want to call it, that we seek to cultivate by prayer or meditation.
When people visualise a pure white light surrounding and infusing them, the whole point is that this visualisation feels good.
If it doesn’t feel good, it isn’t working for you.
I can visualise all sorts of things and have no effect whatsoever.
That’s where I went wrong in the past: not by visualising per se but by thinking the point of all the different spiritual practices was something other than feeling good.
Meditation should feel good. Prayer should feel good. Sometimes it’s difficult, sure. But it mostly should feel good.
If you’re accustomed to feeling bad and distrusting ordinary good feelings, you might make the mistake of thinking spiritual practices should not feel good.
You might overemphasise stories of struggle and effort and how “different” spiritual practice is from everything else in life.
But the bottom line is that it should feel good. And for my purposes I should treat good feeling as a direct sign of the spiritual substance I’m seeking to connect with.
The presence of God feels good. Divine love feels good. Our hearts’ desire is to feel good.
Feeling good is the path and the destination. Accept it, embrace it, and be changed by it until everything feels good for you.