When a teenager is asked,
“How are you feeling?”
We hear one of two answers,
“Good,” or “Fine.”
The truth is that teenagers aren’t a trustworthy source of how they’re feeling.
In order to know if you feel good,
you must be good at feeling.
The only thing the teenager is trying to say with these responses is,
“I don’t have the bandwidth to think about my internal state right now because I am focused on getting my needs for safety and belonging met which requires my full attention to be on:
1) what other people think of me,
2) what the people who are respected by my peer group are thinking, saying, and doing, and
3) imitating what the people in #2 are saying and doing so that the people in #1 think I belong which helps me feel safe.
Many never dive any deeper than this and live out this script for a lifetime.
Similarly, when a typical person drops into a chiropractor’s office and is asked what has brought them in, they usually answer something similar to,
“I have pain, I don’t want to have pain, and I think you can make the pain go away.”
This level of body awareness is the equivalent to the emotional intelligence of the teenager. What the person is actually saying is,
“I have things that are very important to me and I see this pain as an inconvenience and a barrier to me living the life I want to live, which is the life I was living before this pain began. If this pain was gone I could go back to doing what I have always done and life would be good again.”
Many people also live out this script for a lifetime and experience cyclical bouts of seemingly random physical or emotional pain, suffering induced by a lack of understanding of the root of their pain, drugs, surgery, and an ever-diminishing quality of life.
If we listen to the sensations within our bodies as if they are words uttered by the wise, our thoughts, words, and actions will be infused with this wisdom. We will respect ourselves as we come to know ourselves and recognize the wisdom as us.
We will become good at feeling.
And we will feel good.