There’s No Such Thing As Good Or BadFeb 20
For 12 months after getting out of my three year hell-on-earth relationship I lived in a state of wallow.
What an asshole he was.
I’m such a loser for staying that long.
Why did this happen to me?
I’m never going to feel happy again.
I hate everyone.
I believed that relationship had been very, very BAD!
But then something shifted and I started using that painful experience as the catalyst for amazing change in my life.
Which got me thinking…
Was my relationship bad or good?
A Good Story?
When I booked a gig as a series regular on a FOX TV show I thought I had finally made it. My dream of being a working actress had come true.
I was hanging with celebrities at movie premieres and charity events. My bank account was nicely padded.
But I also got cocky and started turning down auditions for anything I didn’t feel spoke to what I wanted to do as an artist.
Within a year and a half of that show airing and getting cancelled I had sabotaged my entire career. It’s never been the same since.
So was booking the TV show good or bad?
Good Nor Bad
What I’ve come to realize is attaching feelings (good or bad) to life’s experiences creates emotional spikes that deplete us of energy.
Have you ever labeled something bad and get depressed, lose confidence or stuck in a rut?
How about labeling something good and becoming addicted to the high looking for the next “good” thing while missing out on the journey? Or has your ego ever taken over where you disconnected and got cocky?
Either way, the result is a feeling of uneasiness that makes it difficult to stay in the flow of life.
There’s a cool Chinese parable I discovered a few years ago. The story is a great reminder that because we can never see the whole picture, labeling things good or bad does not serve us.
Go With The Flow
Going with the flow isn’t about floating aimlessly and just seeing where life takes you. It’s about focusing your energy forward instead of yo-yoing up and down.
Staying open and non-judgmental allows you to observe a new situation from a detached place so you can respond with flexibility and make adjustments with ease.
For one day see how much you label things good or bad. Then instead of giving them labels ask yourself:
What can I learn from this?
How can this help me grow and evolve?
What is the opportunity here?
Start by practicing on smaller, everyday situations. Remove good or bad from the equation and see what happens.
It will lessen the high from your “good” experiences but it will also bring up the lows from your “bad” experiences.
That’s living life in the flow.
A Chinese parable…
A poor farmer had an one old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer’s neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”
A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”
Then when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this was very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”
Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck?