Are You Feeling Clean Pain or Dirty Pain?

This morning I was feeling so__________.  You see I am not exactly sure how I was feeling.  Was I angry, jealous, hurt?  I just could not place my finger on what it was.

Why does it even matter?  Because truly being able to identify what your feeling is a key step in processing your emotions and overcoming the uncomfortable feeling.

I decided to be curious.  I knew I didn’t like the feeling, so I stepped into curiosity mode.  I asked some questions:

“I wonder why I am feeling this way?”

“How do I feel physically?  Can I describe the physical feeling?”

When I became an observer of my thoughts I noticed that the uncomfortable, physical feeling subsided and I was really able to think about the cause.

I decided that what I was feeling was a secondary emotion.  There was an incident that happened and my initial feeling was SAD.  But because I never acknowledged that I felt SAD and processed the SAD, it turned to ANGER, HURT or JEALOUSY without me even knowing it had happened.  I just thought the incident had caused the ANGER, HURT or JEALOUSY (I’m still not sure what I was feeling yet.  Still working on that).

I should have just allowed myself to feel SAD and process SAD.

What would that have looked like?

It would have been me asking the questions I asked above.

  • How does SAD feel in my body?
  • Where do I feel it?
  • I wonder why I feel SAD?
  • Do I want to allow myself to feel SAD about this situation?

Sad alone does not feel great, but it is an emotion we need so that we can appreciate joy and happiness.  So yes, at times we do want to feel sad.  In this situation, SAD is considered CLEAN PAIN.   Clean pain is an initial feeling.  It is the feeling we have before it turns into anything that is not helpful.

Jealousy and anger are not usually very helpful.

When we don’t process and allow ourselves to feel CLEAN PAIN,  it multiplies into many other emotions.  All of those together feel terrible.  It turns into DIRTY PAIN.

Don’t be so quick to run from CLEAN PAIN.  Feel it.  Process it.  It is human!  We want to be human.  When you notice it turning into DIRTY PAIN…that is when you need to start doing some work.

What is that work?

Just ask questions.  Lots and lots of them.


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