Sometimes folks feel bad because it's too scary to feel good! Especially when there's been chronic trauma in a person's life, feeling good can be scary. The good can be at any moment ripped away. That's what chronic trauma does to the head, makes a person afraid that what's good and feels good could at any second be pulled out from under foot.

The inner saboteur generates misery and drama. A dark figure surfaces in dreams as one who wreaks havoc on what is good. It's a terrible thing to not be able to feel well or to allow ourselves to feel well. It's like running a car without lubrication. We end up smoking and burning out!

Feeling good on a consistent basis means facing what's bad inside. The shadow aspects of self call for attention; or else, they will be acted out in our daily lives. There's something to be said for self reflection, insight, and working through emotional issues. If we do this, then we lessen the chances of acting out what's bad, something that always generates bad moods, bad relationships, a bad life.

So, to go in the direction of the good calls us to turn within. Too scary to feel good is a symptom of underlying low self esteem and pain. Dreams reflect this as in the case of one gentleman who related, "My devouring mother in the nightmare screamed, 'Who do you think you are to feel good when the rest of us are feeling bad.' In my family of origin I had to take care of everybody. That's how my mother raised me. I had to feel bad because they all felt bad."  

Dream images symbolized inner conflict. He took one more step toward freeing himself from internalized demanding maternal expectations. Consciousness raised, he understood that fear about feeling good can have more to do with old ghosts than present day realities.

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