First of all welcome to the new posting day! As you may have read on Facebook the Wednesdays weren’t really working well for me so I have switched to posting on Fridays instead. I had read that consistency was important in blogging, but I decided it is more important to me to consistently honor my own needs than it was to honor someone else’s rule. It’s early days yet, but I already like this better.
So anyway, here’s the thing:
I had another post planned for you today all ready and good to go called: “The Road to Acceptance”. It’s a nice piece and I will likely still publish it some time, but something bothered me about it. I tried reworking paragraph’s, but something about it didn’t sit right with me. There was nothing wrong with it exactly and (for once) this wasn’t a perfectionist thing, but something felt “off”. That part at least made sense as I have been feeling “off” myself for a while now. So maybe it wasn’t about the piece at all, maybe it had more to do with me.
Most people who know me, know me to be a positive person with an overall sunny disposition. In fact one of my best friends calls me her “positivity guru”. As a joke of course, but you get the point. Lately though I have been feeling sadder, more down… blue I guess would be the best description. Not deeply unhappy or anything, but blue.
Still not fun though. So I did my best (as I always do) to help myself feel better. Over the years I have gathered a rather impressive array of techniques, books and meditations to help guide myself to a better feeling place.
Feels gentle enough right? “Help guide me to a better feeling place”? It is. Or rather, that’s how it starts. And those exercises work, they really do, I’ll write more about them later. They work…most of the time. You guessed it, this time they didn’t.
I would do an exercise or two and I would feel better. For an hour. Or a day or five minutes. Then I would notice the feeling was back. Okay, so maybe this exercise will work or watching that video, reading that book. You see where this is going right? That gentle intention of “guiding myself to a better feeling place” had turned into: making myself feel better, NOW.
All gentleness gone. I was trying to force it, control it, fight it. It’s true what they say: what you resist, persists. So eloquent. So true. And such a pain in the ass. (Seriously, if I could get somewhere while forcing it? Look out world! You’re about to see something really special.)
I jest, but the frustration it resulted in was not funny at all.
I would read a nice book for a while or watch something fun on TV, hoping to distract myself long enough for the heaviness in my chest to go away all the while feeling it was still there. I would try one thing after another. I would sometimes catch myself literally looking at my chest thinking: nope… still there!
I knew that Acceptance was the thing to go for. Planning a piece for today called “The Road to Acceptance” a not so subtle reminder. Yet I was still resisting it. I REALLY don’t like feeling blue. Shocking I know, but there it is. I could feel myself trying to squirm away from the discomfort.
Even retail therapy didn’t work. (okay, it helped a little)
One afternoon I was reading “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed (Oh my goodness, It’s the second time reading it but I am still blown away by it. A collection of letters of such raw, gut-wrenching beauty it has me saying WOW at every page, but I digress). Anyway in one letter she writes:
“Acceptance asks only that you embrace what’s true”
Beautiful right? I thought so too. Beautiful, really, but the word “only” triggered more resistance. Is that all? Just embrace it? Guess what: “I don’t want to!”
My ego was clearly getting in the way. Like a five-year-old with a temper. As if acceptance was like her Mom saying: “it’s only one bite of peas honey, just one bite”. Meanwhile she is crossing her arms, frowning her face, looking the other way…yelling: “No!” Inner brat.
Getting mad at her (myself) won’t work either though. In the end I adopted a different approach. Compassion. Feeling blue every once in a while is perfectly normal and needs to be acknowledged. That is probably why it stuck around for so long, it needed to be heard/seen/acknowledged. So far I had only been trying to get rid of it.
So I sat with it. I let it be. Still not fun, still not laughing, but I did it anyway. All throughout the next day as well: I sat with it, allowed it to be there. It has a right to be there, my inner brat kiddo is allowed to feel sad or frustrated or angry or upset. Or even everything at once.
Instead of resisting acceptance
I am accepting resistance.
It didn’t feel right to publish a post about “The Road to Acceptance” when I was feeling so unaccepting myself. That is why I struggled with that piece.
But guess what? By deciding to write down my struggles with acceptance, to get it off my chest? I actually got the feeling off my chest!
Next time you’re feeling blue, I have no tips or tricks for you, no quotes with sage advice.
Other than to say:
It’s okay to not feel okay today.
(which sounds like something Dr. Seuss would say)
Next week I’ll be sharing a piece that is really important to me and more deeply personal than anything I have shared thus far.
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Before you go if you would consider leaving a comment below and let me know what, if anything, this article sparked for you, you would make my day.