Do you ever wonder if you can just feel “good”? In this episode, you’ll learn why we aren’t programmed to feel good all the time, and why it’s actually a positive thing.
Most of us spend our life feeling just a few main emotions, and wonder why we keep getting the same results. When you learn that life is best when we allow both the positive and the negative, doors open up that were once closed. There is literally nothing you won’t do if you know you can handle any emotion.
Listen to understand how some of your emotions may be holding you back, how even negative emotions can serve you, and how to feel more of what you want.
I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast
episode 16, the 50/50 Rule.
Hello, and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast where courageous
women learn not only to heal from their spouse’s betrayal, but to become
the boldest, truest, most decisive and confident versions of themselves
ever. If you know there’s more for you than the life you’re currently
living, but don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place.
Stick around to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks
off. Is it possible? It is and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host,
Andrea Giles. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the show. As always, I’m so glad you’re
here. It’s so fun for me to hear from you, to know that you’re sharing my
podcast, to know that you’re enjoying it, that you’re learning from it. I’m
so grateful. Thank you for being here. A couple weeks ago, I taught you a
concept called the manual, and I want to give a little recap because it
ties into what I’m going to be talking about today. The manual is this idea
that we have all these rules and expectations of what we think other people
should be like, what we think we should be like. And when we aren’t that
way, or when other people aren’t that way, then it means that something has
It means that they’re doing it wrong. It means they’re not following the
rule book, and that we have to feel bad because they’re not doing what we
want them to do, or that we have to feel bad because we’re not doing what
we think we should do. We hold this manual over our head. We often make it
other people’s fault that we feel negative emotion and try to make it their
fault basically because we don’t want to feel the discomfort. We don’t want
to feel the negative emotion. We try to pad things for ourself by trying to
line things up just so, have things be just so, so we don’t have to
experience negative emotion.
We don’t want to experience pain. This is a very normal natural human
response. We don’t like pain. We think that pain means death sometimes. But
what I want to talk to you today about is what if we’re supposed to
experience discomfort? What if we’re supposed to experience both positive
and negative emotion? That that’s what we’re here for? In one of my books
of scripture in my church, there’s actually a scripture about this. I want
to read it to you. It is in the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:11. For it must
needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.
If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be
brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither
good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one;
wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no
life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery,
neither sense nor insensibility. We are here to experience all of it. What
we actually experience, a lot of us, is we kind of hang out in a cluster of
feelings. Most of us have our go-to emotions. Now, remember why this
At young ages, we form thoughts, we form meaning about things. The lens
that we see the world through is through cultural experiences, through our
family experiences, through the way that we are raised. That’s the lens,
that’s where we get our information. That’s the filter that our feelings
come from. We all had these things form. A lot of the things that we feel
started for us at a young age. We’ve rehearsed those thoughts over and over
and over again, and so we have an easy time accessing the feelings. We have
a very easy time feeling those feelings because we’ve done them so many
If I asked you, “What do you feel most of the time,” you probably have two
or three emotions that you hang out with most of the time. I wonder what
they are. Can you tell me? What do you feel most of the time? Is it
annoyed? Is it anxiety, overwhelm, sad? What about love? What about fear,
motivation, determination? The way that you feel most of the time is
determining the quality of your life. It’s the way that you experience your
life. Most of us think that if we experience more negative emotion, that
we’re in danger of something going wrong or that something has gone wrong.
I want to offer you that the opposite is actually true.
Imagine a rubber band. Most of us hang out with that rubber band not pulled
too tight because we might not want the experience of growth. What happens
is that when we start to stretch that rubber band by feeling new feelings,
both positive and negative, it catapults us from one place to another. What
I mean by that is if we’re really willing to dig in and feel, like really
feel some disappointment, really, really feel it, it means that we get to
feel the opposite of that. We’re making space. We’re making room in our
emotional vocabulary, in our feeling vocabulary to feel positive emotion.
It goes both ways.
Now, one area that I see this come up a lot with clients, where this whole
50/50 rule comes to play is this, some of us think that something has gone
terribly wrong because of who we married. If I would’ve married this other
person, I would not be experiencing this. My question for you is, how do
you know that? How do you know that you wouldn’t be experiencing something
else that might even be harder or just as hard? I don’t want to downplay
the very difficult experience that you’re having. I remember wondering if I
could feel any more pain than I currently was feeling. I remember that.
I remember crying on the bathroom floor, feeling like I might die on the
spot. I remember that, that pain where my heart was maybe going to crack
open. But guess what? I also know the opposite of that. I know what it
feels like to feel complete joy. I know what it feels like to be with my
husband and feel safe in his arms. I know what that feels like. I know what
it feels like to feel proud of myself for riding it out and for hanging in
and for not giving up. I know what those feel like because I was willing to
feel the negative emotion. I get to also feel the opposite, right? Another
area where I see this is when people talk to me about their kids.
They’re so worried. They’re so worried about their kids. They’re worried
about what kind of experience their kids are having or that they’re going
to have. I don’t want them to hurt. I don’t want them to experience this
pain. I get it. I so get it. While I understand that as parents, we
naturally want to avoid pain for ourselves and for our children, what if
it’s part of their growth to feel pain? What if it’s part of their
stretching and their building resiliency? What if it’s for their good? What
if it always was supposed to be that way? This 50/50, 50% positive, 50%
negative. Now, let me tell you where we often get ourselves in trouble.
Let’s say the feeling of guilt, okay? If we think that we should feel guilt
and that we should feel bad about something, there’s that initial feeling
of guilt that we might want to experience. Let’s say that we say something
that maybe was not in alignment with who we actually want to be. Sometimes
guilt can tap us on the shoulder. Hey, guess what? That wasn’t quite who
you want to be. I think that comes from our higher self, our best self,
saying, “Hmm, I don’t know that you want to do that.” That guilt can serve
to remind us of who we want to be, and so we can go make it right, we can
fix it, and we can decide that we’re going to do better, and we can drop
That was useful. That guilt in that instance was useful. But what we tend
to do is if we feel that guilt, instead of just asking it, “Okay, what are
you here for? What do I need to pay attention to,” we use it as a means to
punch ourself in the face over and over and over again. Like, “Oh, there’s
the guilt again. I must be bad. I’m so bad. If I weren’t bad, I wouldn’t
have done that thing in the first place. I should be better. I should know
better. I shouldn’t have done that.” We just keep punishing ourself over
and over again. This is a case of that guilt or that emotion hurting us.
It’s not helping us to move forward.
These negative emotions can serve us to move forward or they can keep us
stuck. That’s one way to look at your emotions, those ones that you
experience most of the time. Are these emotions helping me move forward, or
are these emotions keeping me stuck in the same old patterns? Let’s talk
about feelings again. Several episodes ago, I recorded an episode called
Feeling Your Feelings. I’m not quite sure why, and I’d love to hear from
you, but that episode has been listened to way more than any of my other
episodes. It sounds to me like you like learning about your feelings, so
I’m going to dive into it more here.
As a recap, most of us are never taught how to feel feelings. We’re taught
to push them away. We’re taught that we’re being too sensitive if we’re
feeling something. We’re taught that we’re being wimps or whatever we make
it mean. Most of us either avoid, resist, or react to our feelings.
Avoiding them is where we just want to pretend like they’re not there. We
go numb out. We go watch Netflix, go binge watch Netflix. We eat. We do
video games. We go online shopping. We drink alcohol. We view pornography.
All these things to avoid what we’re actually feeling. That’s avoidance.
Resistance is where we know that it’s there, we can see it, but we so don’t
want it to be there that we do everything we can to fight against it. It’s
like somebody has their foot in the door and you’re leaning against it so
hard and you’re totally wearing yourself out because you’re pushing so hard
against it. It’s like taking that beach ball and shoving it under the
water. You’re pushing so hard, and what’s going to happen is it’s going to
pop back up. And as the saying goes, what we resist persists. It’s true
with our feelings. What we resist, what we try to push back from, pops
right back up. It’s like, I will be heard.
That does not mean we have to believe the feeling, but it does mean
acknowledging it and seeing it and naming it will help you move forward.
The other thing we do is react. That’s where it’s like you’re holding this
ball of mud and you’re like, I don’t want to feel this ball of mud, and so
we go throw it at somebody else. Here, you made me feel this way, so you
get to hold it. I don’t want to hold it. That’s name calling, throwing,
yelling, blaming, all kinds of things like that. That’s what most of us do.
I’m right over here on the other side of this raising my hand guilty of all
of them. We aren’t taught how to process our emotions as kids.
This is a lifelong thing to learn this art. It’s not a one and done. Then
there’s the allowing of feelings. It’s where we name it, where we
acknowledge it, where we feel it in our body, where we pull up a chair and
go, “Hmm, I guess that’s what we’re doing today, hanging out with some
disappointment, hanging out with some grief.” Yeah, our thoughts caused it,
but that’s beside the point when you’re right in it. We don’t want to solve
for a feeling when we’re right in the feeling. What if you can just notice
it and be like, “Yep, guess we’re doing this. This is the part where I get
to feel some shame.” It feels terrible.
We can not like it. We don’t have to enjoy it, but we also don’t have to be
afraid of it. We can just allow it to be there. Notice it. Feel it in our
body. Back to an example, oftentimes when we are faced with problems like
in marriage, sometimes our thoughts will go to something like, “I married
the wrong guy. I married the wrong guy.” That thought would create a lot of
pain, disappointment, sadness, grief, regret, lots of negative emotion.
What I suggest along with this 50/50 rule is trusting that no matter who
you married, that rule still stands. It’s still there. You would still have
the 50. You would still have equal parts positive and equal parts negative.
And that’s on a good day and let me explain why. Because most of us don’t
know how to manage our minds around our feelings, most of us hang out more
in negative emotion than positive. For a lot of people, it’s more like
70/30 or 60/40. What would you say your equation is? What’s your balance of
positive versus negative emotion? A well-balanced mind is 50/50. Can you
believe that? Can you that? A well-balanced mind feels 50% negative and 50%
positive emotion. Hard to believe, right? We’re not here to just hang out
in the land of sunshine and rainbows where nothing ever goes wrong and
where we don’t have to ever feel disappointment, because it’s those
feelings that help us move forward if we allow them.
I’ll teach you more about that in a minute. With the example of marrying
the wrong guy, this is what I suggest. We create so much resistance around
that, so much judgment of that. What if you dropped the story and said, “I
did marry this person.” Acceptance. This is the person I married. I did
marry him. Guess what? Acceptance alone creates a different emotion than
fear or regret or sadness or grief. It creates a different emotion. Just
accepting it, breathing into it. This is who I married. This is who I
chose. And then going, “What is the experience here?”
When we drop that rope that we’re pulling on like in a tug of war, we’re
just dropping it and setting it down and going, “Okay, I’m going to look
around here. What am I actually feeling here? What is it,” and identifying
it. And then something I suggest is looking around and going, “What can I
learn from this place? What is it that I can learn here?” A lot of times
what we do is we not only sabotage our experience of learning and growing
in the negative emotion, but we do the same for the positive. Is that
surprising? We can be cruising along, feeling good, feeling positive
emotion, and then start looking for problems.
We can start scanning for what’s going to go wrong. When is he going to
fall back? When is that other shoe going to drop? And then we stop enjoying
the good things and we just are looking for the bad. We’re not trusting the
good. What I like to do and what has brought me some relief, I used to hang
out in that place all the time, by the way, in that place of looking over
my shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for something to
go wrong. Of course, my brain made that true. Of course, it did. But it can
be damaging in my current relationship because it robs me from just being
in the moment and enjoying where I am.
I rob myself of just feeling peace and pleasure and joy because I’m looking
for a problem. What I like to say instead is, yep, that other 50% is going
to come because it always does. I’m not going to be surprised by it. When
it does, I know I can take it. I know I can handle it, instead of when it
comes being surprised and being like, “Oh, yep, I shouldn’t have enjoyed
that. I shouldn’t have trusted that. Of course, here I am.” It’s allowing
all of it. One more thing I want to talk about is choosing your 50%.
In that little bubble that I talked about in the beginning of identifying
what your two or three go-to emotions are, like what you hang out with most
of the time, in that bubble, we’re having the same experience over and over
again. If that negative emotion that we feel all the time is overwhelm,
that’s where we’re hanging out, right? We’re creating that for ourself over
and over again. I’ll tell you, that’s one of mine that my brain is really
good at producing. My brain is really good at overwhelm and feeling like
too busy. My brain is really good at that. But I do acknowledge and see
that it’s not helping me move forward.
When I get curious and go, “What negative emotion might actually help me to
move forward instead of on replay, like a stuck record over and over again
as if it’s going to produce something different? What emotion might
actually help me move forward?” Let’s talk about fear, for example. What if
you feel fear? Let’s say that you want to change things up in the way that
you speak with your husband. You want a different dynamic. You want to
change things up, but you’re so afraid of the backlash. You’re so afraid of
the discomfort that you might feel because of his words, of how he handles
it. You don’t have the conversation because you don’t want to feel that on
the other side.
What if you’re willing to feel the fear though? What if you’re willing to
look forward to the future and go, “If I want to change this, it starts
with me, and I know that it begins by me saying how I actually feel and
asking the questions that I want to ask and respecting myself in this
space.” You ask the questions even though it’s uncomfortable. That is
useful. That is useful emotion. It’s doing something. It’s helping you take
action to move things forward on purpose. That’s what choosing your 50 is.
Fear is a good one. It can serve us really well. What about a feeling like
compassion? Sometimes we’re afraid to feel certain feelings like compassion
or forgiveness because we think that it locks us into a certain result.
Like if I feel forgiveness, if I nurture a feeling of forgiveness for my
spouse, it means I have to stay with him, or it means that it didn’t matter
what he did. That’s just wrong. That’s wrong. We still get to choose from
our highest self what is best for us. We still get to pick. But with
choosing a feeling like forgiveness instead of bitterness, we are growing
our own vocabulary and experiencing a different emotion than we were
before. It’s actually quite self-serving. We can still choose whatever we
want, whatever’s best for us, truly best for us, but we get to decide on
what experience we want to have while we’re in it.
Curiosity feels different than judgment. Judgment might feel safer. It
might feel like it’s protecting us, but it’s keeping us stuck. Judgment is
one of those that there is no acceptance, there is no allowance. It’s very
tight. Compassion and curiosity open us up to looking for something
different. Those are stretching that rubber band, moving around, having a
different experience. We’re broadening our experience. We are playing with
emotions and seeing what happens when we allow ourself to feel certain
things. We’re creating them by the way that we’re thinking. We’re changing
up our 50. We’re intentionally experiencing things on purpose so we can
create a different result for ourself.
I want you to imagine that I’m standing in front of you with a beautiful
silver platter of emotions. There’s all different kinds on there. There’s
hundreds of emotions, maybe even thousands. We’re very multifaceted people,
so it makes sense that there’d be lots of emotions, right? I’m standing in
front of you with this platter, and you get to just pick. You just get to
pick from the platter. You get to decide, “I want to try this on. I want to
see what happens when I feel this emotion.” Let’s say you pick something
like curiosity. I just want to try on curiosity instead of judgment. Let’s
go there. You start to think a thought like, what would I need to think to
I might have to have the word in there, I wonder why. I wonder why he does
that. I wonder why he did that. I wonder why I respond in this way. I
wonder why I feel so afraid. Curiosity, and then it’s going to open you up.
You’re going to see how you act when you’re curious, and you’re going to
create a different result for yourself than you would with the initial
go-to emotion that you’re used to. With that 50/50, in closing this up,
it’s a good thing. It’s good news, because so many of us have this idea
that life should just be happy all the time, that it should just be so
great, that marriages should just go smoothly and flawlessly, and that
surely other people don’t have the same problems as I do.
My take on that, and that is good news. I am experiencing life in a way
that a lot of people don’t. I have five stepchildren. I married a widower.
My first husband died. All of these things, right? All of these different
things that aren’t the norm. Guess what? I get to experience all of the
emotions that are not the norm, positive, negative. I get to do the work to
grow myself, to learn to be a loving mother to children that I did not give
birth to. Do you know how much that stretches me for the good? It’s
amazing. It’s in my service. It’s for my growth. Those of you listening who
are working through infidelity, you might think that something has gone
terribly wrong, that you’ll never come back from it.
Any of you listening who have made mistakes that you regret, the opposite
of what you’re feeling right now is available for you. There are different
emotions available for you. As much and as deep as the pain is that you’re
feeling, the opposite of that is right there waiting for you. And that is a
gift. That is something that not everybody’s willing or able to feel based
on what they allow and what their experience is. I encourage you to play
around with this, play around with growing your emotional vocabulary. When
you find yourself in a situation where you’re mad at it and like, “This is
dumb. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to feel this way. Here we go
again,” just practice this.
Oh, there’s that other 50. There it is, 50/50. It’s 50/50. Here’s the 50.
I’m feeling it today. Nothing has gone wrong. It’s okay. Again, the
opposite of that feeling is available to you. It takes courage. It takes
effort. It takes acknowledging where you’re at and identifying where you’re
at and deciding you want something different. Are you up for it? I know
that you can. I know that you have what it takes inside you to grow that
vocabulary and create whatever life you want. Whatever life you want. The
life you want is on the other side of feeling your feelings, stretching
that rubber band and growing. Love you all. Thank you for being here, and
I’ll see you next week. Bye, bye.
Thank you for listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast. If you would
like to be kept in the know about upcoming free classes, new podcast
episodes, and other ways of working with me, go subscribe to my weekly
email. You can subscribe at andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. Again,
it’s andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.