This past Sunday, the bottom dropped out. I’d been cruising along, uber-motivated and full of excitement for life, then WHAM. I was struck head on by an overwhelming and soul-crushing darkness. I felt lost. I felt like a stranger to myself.
This isn’t the first time this has happened, and I know I’m not the only one who gets blindsided by feelings like this, especially with everything that’s been going on in the world this year. I think these episodes happen to more of us than we realize, we just don’t talk about it openly.
This is different than the episodes of depression that dot my history and the history of so many of us. This is something I can only explain as extreme anger toward myself. But why?
If you’ve read my novel, And Then She Flew, you know that a main theme in my work is the wisdom, joy and love we all naturally possess as young children. That is our true state. That is who we truly are, beneath all the outside influences that pile up over the years to such depths that we completely lose sight of the girl we are beneath it all.
It’s no wonder we sometimes feel sad and lost, like strangers to ourselves. We kind of are.
As painful as these times are though, I truly believe these episodes are a gift, a signal to PAUSE and remember that little child who was so full of joy and self-confidence and self-LOVE. A time to honor her and cherish her. A time to walk through the dust that has settled in the wake of all the challenges and outside influences and opinions, pick her up, dust her off and truly SEE her.
This is a bit of a vulnerable post, and my initial instinct as I wrote it was to apologize for that. But we need to stop apologizing for being real. (Did I say that loud enough? No? Ok, I'll repeat it.)
WE NEED TO STOP APOLOGIZING FOR BEING REAL.
This is reality. OUR reality. We do not need to apologize for being human. We don’t need to hide the parts of us that aren’t always sunshiny and motivated, and we certainly don’t need to apologize for them. Denying certain parts of ourselves doesn’t make them go away, it just makes us feel more and more lost in our own skin.
So Sunday, after bawling my eyes out for an hour, I curled up with my favorite blanket and listened to some guided meditations on the Insight Timer app (amazing app, BTW). I allowed myself the time and space to HONOR myself exactly as I am.
Sometimes sad, sometimes lost, sometimes feeling completely alone and scared as hell.
I closed my eyes and saw myself as that little girl who believed in all the good in the world, who knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she wanted to paint life every color imaginable. I saw her facing rejection and criticism and pain over the years and I watched the spark begin to fade from her eyes.
And then I changed the story-
I reminded her that all that negativity is outside of her, NOT part of her. That she is whole and perfect exactly as she is. That she can and will do incredible things with her life that spread the glorious light she feels inside. That light that has dimmed. I saw her and I accepted her exactly as she is. I told her it’s ok to cry. I told her that voice in her head that says she’s alone is wrong–
We are never alone.
I felt the light begin to burn a little brighter again; the spark in her eyes and the power of her spirit began to return. Simply because I honored her, and she felt loved.
Isn’t that ultimately what we all want? Whatever form it might take, we all want to feel seen and loved and accepted as we are. At the root of everything we do is a desire to feel love.
I talk a lot about spreading love, but we can only give what we have to give.
As we focus more and more of our love and energy OUTSIDE of ourselves, it can happen so gradually that we don’t even realize it’s happening. Until one day the bottom drops out and we realize we’ve neglected the one person we are charged with taking care of before all others – ourselves.
We are as we have always been – perfect and powerful, with all our fears and mistakes and joys and sorrows. We are worthy of love, not just from others, but from ourselves.
So if you feel the bottom drop out sometimes too, know you are not alone. Take the time to listen to what that beautiful, wise child inside you is asking for and give it to her. She deserves nothing less.
YOU deserve nothing less.
All my love,