How easily we forget
The last few days I’ve been in a funk. Low energy. Edging tears. Having a hard time finding inspiration. And, dare I say, feeling a little needy. And whenever this happens, I freak out and decide something’s terribly wrong with me.
My mind snaps to:
“Why am I feeling this way? Nothing BAD has happened!” “You’re a strong, independent woman. What’s with needing all the reassurance?” “Quit being tired and get to work. Last week your were on fire. What’s wrong with you now?”
Every month this happens and every month I forget that this happens and beat myself up all over again.
Yes, what I’m alluding to is how I feel when it’s my lady time. And though I’m not going to take you through the specific ups and downs of what THAT’S like, let’s just say that the time I need the most self-compassion is the same time I find it hardest to access.
And yet, I know that this happens every single month. You’d think I’d remember that 7 days out of 30 I’m going to feel low energy, tired, more needy, and possibly weepy. And that during that time I’d remember to amp up my self kindness and care.
In seeing this pattern for, well, years now, here’s what I’ve come to realize about my emotional shifts.
I don’t like them.
And because I don’t like them I think they should go away immediately.
Turns out, my ego is very attached to being logical, rational, happy and upbeat. To being someone who makes other people feel good and brings lightness to a room. To being “the stable” one. And when I’m NOT able to do that because I’m in a funk, my sense of self gets challenged, which leads me to want to fight those feelings off.
Hence all the judgment and negative self talk for feeling how I feel.
And as we know, though we can change how we feel, the first step to that change is love and acceptance.
I was talking about this just the other day with a client who too was struggling with her low energy and down mood. “I just have no patience for myself when I’m in this state,” she said. “I like to be productive and I worry I’m going to feel like this forever, that I’m never again going to feel motivated or happy and that the only way to save myself is to fight it!”
What I told her (and now tell myself every month) is this:
Everything cycles, from the seasons to the tides to our bodies. And to believe that we have to maintain the same upbeat energy, driving persistence and happy demeanor 365 days a year is to forget we’re human and like every other living thing on this planet, we shift and cycle and change, endlessly.
We talked about how to appreciate her lady time as an opportunity to be gentle with herself, to remember that it’s a sacred time and that it does always pass. And in the passing we’re brought back to our motivated selves.
And so I want you to think about something that happens regularly in your life, maybe monthly, daily, quarterly that you tend to beat yourself up over. What’s that thing/occurrence/activity that makes you feel something you believe you shouldn’t feel?
Think of that thing and see if, when it comes around again, you can approach it, your feelings AND yourself with compassion and tenderness.
How can you suspend judgment to see the truth of your resistance to this thing?
What’s one way you can remind yourself that this is a cycle and that there’s nothing you need to do besides soften the fight against it?
As for my funky low mood, in remembering that it too is a cycle that I don’t have to feel bad about, I feel better. Not an “I’m ready to take on the world” better but a more “settled in my skin” type of better.
And remembering I’ll be ready to take on the world again in a week or so feels better too.
Lots of love,
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