Allowing for Feelings
I’m sitting at my desk playing solitaire and listening to old songs after my first tri-fecta of dancing in a long time. Scrappy Doo recently vacated my lap, and Dylan has gone off in search of a late night snack. I should be on top of the world, but strangely, I’m not.
It actually started last night while I was at the newly opened BL Dancehall and Saloon, our temporary dance home until Borderline can be brought up to code and remodeled; a task which we’re told could take 2 years, or maybe more. With the music blasting, and my feet itching to join my friends on the dance floor, I grabbed my water bottle and wandered off to a booth on the patio where I could huddle into a corner, hidden from view and be by myself to work through a wash of overwhelming sadness that came from out of nowhere.
I asked myself several times if the sadness was mine or belonged to someone else, but didn’t get a clear answer. I finally wandered back inside and tried to bury the sadness beneath the joy I find while dancing, but my friend Lisa admitted to feeling sad herself. I tried to convince myself the sadness I was feeling belonged to her, but my gut knew better.
There Isn’t Always a Reason
Perhaps it was overwhelm from being among people 3 nights in a row. Perhaps it was a premonition of an awful helicopter crash the next morning (though I doubt it. I seldom have tragic premonitions, and definitely not about strangers). Eventually, I figured a good night’s sleep would wash the sadness away. It did, but only temporarily.
Strange dreams filled my night. While not unusual, they were vivid enough to remain in my mind, and ended up filling my Morning Pages. That should have been the end of it. But by the time the sun went down, the sadness was back, worse than before, despite spending the day alone, and missing the first dance workshop in our new home. Despite getting 4 loads of laundry done and my bed stripped and remade.
Reading a self-help book didn’t help. Watching a sappy Hallmark movie seemed to make it worse instead of better. Listening to my Simon and Garfunkel Pandora station exacerbated it even more as it perversely played songs that triggered memories or thoughts which were anything but cheerful. I felt like I needed a good cry, but couldn’t think of a single good reason for needing one.
Humans Sometimes Feel Sad
There was a time I’d have berated myself and demanded I find my cheerful, sunny outlook and stop feeling sorry for myself. But what I’m feeling isn’t self-pity. It’s plainly and simply, sadness. My sadness isn’t for anyone. It isn’t because of anything. It just is. I feel stuck, but I’m not sure where or why I’m stuck. Nothing is really wrong, and nothing is not right either. It makes no sense.
I’ve learned there are times I’ll be sad like this for no apparent reason. It is part of being human and having lived a few decades. Few people get through 4 or 5 decades without some kind of loss whether it’s death, breakup, divorce, or some kind of tragedy that shakes you down to the soles of your feet.
I’m halfway through my sixth decade, and I’ve had my share of heartache and trauma. I’ve developed coping skills and mechanisms, and in the last couple of decades, I’ve cracked myself open and released some of the ones which were doing me more harm than good. I suspect there are still a few buried even more deeply which I’ve yet to exhume and exorcise.
Being sad for no apparent reason is part of the process. Sometimes I just have to be sad and not try to analyze it (though for me that’s a tall order). I have to accept the sadness and let it run its course, doing my best to get things done while it makes me shy away from human contact at a time when I probably need it more than ever. Old habits die hard, and I am still reluctant to expose others to me when I’m no fun to be around. I still believe when I’m sad I’m a buzz kill, and make people uncomfortable. So I isolate.
A Time for Mindless Tasks
The day wasn’t a total loss, or to be honest, a loss at all. I got my clothes and bedding washed and put away, a blog post finished and another written, a few more pages in a new Julia Cameron book read, and I meditated. I even spent some time doing a brain dump in hopes it would help me find causality—to no avail. Perhaps I’m not supposed to know why; I’m just supposed to accept a part of my cycle that isn’t entirely pleasant to experience, but must be lived through anyway.
But songs like “Desperado”, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “I Am A Rock”, and even “Country Roads” have me staring t the computer screens with my mind drifting down paths I try really hard to avoid, forgetting my own exhortations about having to feel the feels.
I speak of Universal head slaps on occasion. Those times when I’ve failed to get the message, so to speak, and the Universe gives me a painful nudge. I just wish I knew what I’d missed; what feels I’d failed to feel in my typical oblivious fashion. What clues did I miss that are now coming back to drag me into the pits of despair with no valid reason for going there?
I can only trust the answers will come when I stop poking at the wound I can’t see; stop chasing the dream that, like a butterfly, flits further from my reach the more I pursue it. Sometimes, the best answer is to let go and allow whatever it is to rise to the surface when it’s good and ready. I only wish I was the patient sort.
A Little Gratitude Never Hurts
My gratitudes today are:
- I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned which allow me to let the feelings come, even when it means being patient; another lesson I’m still trying to master.
- I am grateful for regular dance nights, and time with friends.
- I am grateful for a social life that means I rarely spend more than a day or two alone.
- I am grateful for Trello which helps me schedule not only the work I want to do, but the self-care as well.
- I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, motivation, inspiration, self-care, peace, health, harmony, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward