I’ve been thinking. When I began this blog, I vowed to keep my posts upbeat and positive. I mean who wants to read blog posts about someone always moaning and groaning about his or her problems. Yet, this is a journey blog, and I realize that no one’s journey rides high all the time. As we travel our paths, we encounter peaks and valleys, ups and downs, highs and lows, however you choose to call them. Moreover, when I choose the word “courage” as my word for 2014, I committed to have the courage to be vulnerable at times–even if it is uncomfortable. This is one of those times.
Lately, I’ve felt very down. It is difficult to think, write and even meditate. I can’t even blame it on Seasonal Affective Disorder–it’s too early for that and 102° outside. Nevertheless, everything seems so hard. Each day, I wake up and, if truth be told, I would rather pull the covers over my head and meld into the mattress. Unless my fibromyalgia pain is too intense, I fight that urge and, by sheer force of will, drag myself out of bed to face another day. I refuse to fully give in to the sadness, worries and fears or to take the easy road out by wallowing in it for too long. I struggle to remain mindful of the many positive things in my life, and to let go of stress, worries and negative thinking. Sometimes, I am successful. Yet, it is the times that I’m not, that weigh heavily on my mind.
I’ve come to wonder why so many of us believe that feeling sad, fearful, depressed, melancholy or blue is a character flaw? In many cases, we learn to repress our ‘other than’ positive feelings, because they are not desirable in the society in which we live. We are told, directly or indirectly, that doing so exhibits a sign of weakness. In this country, the “pursuit of happiness” that is enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, is misinterpreted to create an inalienable “right to happiness,” which is unsustainable.
In general, many of us, are uncomfortable and at a loss for words in the company of those who acknowledge their unhappiness. Generally, when we ask, “How are you doing?,” we are merely being polite and not expecting to hear an honest assessment of one’s state of mind. At the earliest opportunity, we run away as if in the presence of a contagious disease that is sure to overtake us. As a result, out of shame or a perceived weakness, people feel as though they must hide their unhappiness.
Even more worrisome is the fact that often, those feeling sad, depressed or out of sorts, do everything that they can to run away from the negative feelings. I mean, who wants to acknowledge and subject themselves to thoughts and feelings that they’d rather deny. Doing so, is not an easy thing to do, and it takes courage and strength to embrace those feelings and accept them as a part of who we are.
Who among us can honestly claim that they escape the roller coaster that we call life? It is a scientific fact that what goes up, must come down, and emotional highs and lows are no exception. The problem is that it is so easy to dwell in the highs, but we fear the descents into the lows. Whereas, we wish to prolong the highs, we’d rather give short shrift to the lows and hurry them along. Yet, by running from the sadness, fear, anger and more, we simply make sure that they last longer, and often deepen, the effects. The saying ‘fake it ’til you make it’ is fine for the average blue period. Nevertheless, it takes courage to admit that sometimes our only solace is to acknowledge the feelings, and accept and embrace them as a way to understand the lessons or revelations they offer us.
Me? I’ve come to realize that I, along with all of my messy bits, informs who I am–the true me. Although discussing my ‘messy bits’ raises a host of vulnerability issues, the journey to my authentic self requires it. My journey is not always a bed of roses and at times, is pervaded by thorns, so my denial is disingenuous. Anyway, I know that, as it always does, ‘this too shall end.’
Mind you, the focus and spirit of my blog will not change. I, for one, could not abide reading a blog that is nothing but doom and gloom; besides, that is not who I am. I do intend to do what I set out to do for this entire year, that is, have the courage to be vulnerable, as a means of being real and more open. I write to delve deeper to learn more about myself–who I am and why I do what I do. That is not to say that I am going to share all my business, because, even for me, that is TMI (too much information.) Personally, I believe that some things are not fodder for this blog. Yet, the thing is that, most likely, I will always be a beautiful mess. I am learning to welcome that and I’d have it no other way.
A courageous, honest and beautiful post, Lydia! I must tell you how happy I was to be able to read your words for the simple reason that no matter what you are going through, it’s your own words. I love that so!
I’m sorry you are down and out and I completely understand what you are saying about the judgement that can bring on by others. That isn’t fair, but it does happen for sure. Sometimes I feel down, angry, frustrated or low and my first instinct is to hide that stuff – for all the reasons you bring up here so perfectly. Society wants ‘fighters’ and ‘cheerleaders’ and positive attitudes.
But there is a line and I’m increasingly mindful of it – a line between honoring posiivity and hiding in it. Somewhere in there it gets blurry but just like you (I think, if this makes sense) I can feel it or sense it.
I don’t mean to ramble, my apologies! I want to thank you for your words and your honesty. “There are no new feelings” I once heard Maya Angelou say so amazingly . . everything we feel, other human beings have felt before and will again. I’m really, really glad for those who share the truth of the ups AND of the downs. That’s the way we let each other know we aren’t alone.
Blessings, light, love, and a big ol’ cyber hug. Not to force you to feel ‘better’ – to let you know I’ll be here whenever you do. Take your time 🙂 🙂
As always your words bring much comfort. Your ‘ramblings’ are much appreciated. I love that Maya Angelou quote, because so often we forget that there are others who feel as we do and that we are not alone as we think that we are. I am also heartened to hear that you too understand and Can identify with the feelings. You are such a light in the world and the simple act of acknowledging similar feelings can help many others.
Don’t worry, I am not deeply depressed, and As I said, “this too shall pass.” In the meantime, I will continue to remember all of life’s blessings, including you. Thank you for being. The world would be a far darker place without you in it. Blessings, hugs and love, Lydia
Now I have tears in my eyes! Thank you for your kind words! What a perfect title for your post – sometimes life is (and we are) really a beautiful mess! haha 🙂 xo
This is powerful, thank you for sharing this with the world!
Thank you for your comment. I am heartened when others can identify with one of my posts. In spite of the tendency to highlight our differences, it goes to show how alike we really are.
I also appreciate you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog and I hope to see you again. Blessings, Lydia
You most certainly will!
Thank you. 🙂
Sorry to hear this, but my, what a beautiful post!
I am still caught in a swirl of blue. It’s been the best part of a month and I’m so ready to let it go now. Not even the sunshine has helped a huge amount, and I too suffer with SAD in Autumn/Winter.
Sending you huge hugs and love and light,
I am happy that the post touched you. I am sorry that you too are in the grips of similar feelings. I think that all of us who are, should be proud of ourselves for confronting the issue and vowing to get through it. I wish that you feel more yourself soon. You are a shining spirit in this world. Blessings, love and big hugs to you, Lydia
Thank you for your kind words Lydia. I hope to get back on track soon too. It’s very wearing.