Feeling good is good for your health. Doing good is also good for your health, too. In fact, it’s been proven to be even better for your health than feeling good, but too much of any good thing is not healthy.
The problem with trying to feel good is that many overdo it. Self-indulgence and self-centeredness is the result, and both are bad for your health. An excessive focus on your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs, wants and desires is appropriate when you are chronically or acutely sick on one or more of these levels of wellbeing. Otherwise, from a spiritually mature perspective, it is pure self-indulgence and an act of self-focus that is wise to question. There is a difference between being selfish and putting yourself first so that you are fit and healthy to do good. This is not self-indulgent. It is self-preservation and self-satisfaction. Both are your birth right.
If you are not feeling good physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually, it is still possible to do some good, but it will take a lot more effort. Doing good when your fuel is low will make you feel better temporarily, but it won’t solve the chronic or acute shortage of feel good fuel on every level of your being. It won’t increase your overall energy if you neglect to take proper care of you too. This means being enough, having enough and doing enough for yourself so that you feel good enough. It means having the spiritual maturity to admit that more than enough of anything physical, emotional, mental and spiritual is too much.
You know you are guilty of creating too much when there is too much of anything in your life. Too much food, too much stuff, too much fun, too much work, too much rest, too many responsibilities, too much power, too much wealth, too much weakness, too much illness, too much sadness, too much approval, too much fame, too much comfort, too much thinking, too much imagination, too much that you own or too much that you don’t own. Getting the balance right between doing too much and not enough is vital if you want to do some genuine good in the world. Find your middle way through life.
The problem with doing good is that you can also do too much of it. You can give too much. You can do too much. You can be too much. You can have too much. You can let others ask too much of your time, energy, space and money.
An excessive amount of doing good for others comes at the cost of your own health. When you do too much for others, you are sacrificing your ability to do enough for you. It is not good for your health when you give too much. It is not good for your health if you try to be too much, and it is detrimental if you have too much. Your body, soul and spirit cannot afford to give more than enough to others. Your body, soul and spirit can’t afford to take too much either. When you give too much to others, you are also taking away their opportunity to learn to develop the inner resources they need to empower themselves when you are no longer there to do it for them. If you do too much you may be enabling the weak and vulnerable to remain that way. This encourages a culture of entitlement. Parents with teenagers may be familiar with this scenario. They win temporarily and you lose permanently.
To be in good physical, emotional, mental and spiritual shape means you have enough fuel to do good. It takes very little effort to do good when you feel good. You feel good when you have enough fuel and you can use it to help others. Everyone wins.