It’s mid-February and I regret to inform you that I’ve contracted a totally harsh case of the drearies.
Normally around this time of year, the sky remains a dim gray overcast, denying everyone the essentail vitamin D and general, you know, colors that sunshine brings.
But the past few years the weather has become more unpredictable, and this year is a real show off in terms of fluctuation. One day, it was 40 degrees and the sun shone until warm rain melted away all the snow. Two days later, I could barely brave the cold.
I’m not sure which is worse… a predictable stretch of depressing gray sludge, or a bi-polar roller coaster (note: possible band name?) of icy-cold-stingy-needles-of-frostbite tag teaming with mild-goopy-mud with a side of DECEIVING sunshine? And then the full moon happens and LOOK OUT.
In short, quit frontin’ on us, nature!
It’s easy to become negative when you’re getting thrown around like this. Luckily for me, I have a level headed Alex who is great at keeping his cool when I’m melting down. He’s the best kind of partner, because he does this cool trick where he listens to me when I’m feeling my best, and then gives me my own words back when I need them most.
This is what I mean by cyclical advice. It is so wonderful to have someone in your life who can remind you that you’re a shining light by using your very own words, be it a relative or friend. But what about when that person’s not around?
I often find myself giving advice to friends when they’re in a predicament, but feeling clueless when I’m in the same predicament later on. Why do we forget what we already know so often?
It’s easy to read a motivational quote when you’re feeling great and think “Yes! I get that. I can feel that and reach that and be that. I am this quote on Drew Barrymore’s Instagram.”
But then when you read the same thing when you’re feeling down, it just doesn’t break the skin and get in there like it did before. It might even sound dumb, or empty this time around.
Also, your favorite song sounds worse somehow.
Anything too cheery is just uncomfortable.
Does this sound familiar? Yeah, that’s me right NOW, you might be saying. Shoot, me too, girl.
I’m no expert on feelings, and I didn’t do college so good, but I’m going to try something and you can feel free to join me in this experiment. I am going to begin to treat myself like my own best friend.
You would never tell your best friend she looks ugly. You would never tell them things are only going to get worse from here. You would never tell them everyone thinks they’re selfish, or that they suck at the thing they love doing. So I suggest we treat that part of us that is saying all this nonsense like our best friend. OR a small, confused, baby animal. Tell it what you know to be true: It’s so cute. It’s still learning. It’s not the end of the world. It is loved.
Here’s something I believe that you can take or leave:
(that sounded like lyrics from a 90s rap in my head)
The part of you that is spouting off janky crap isn’t the true you. You can actually, with some practice, take a step back and observe these thoughts as they come in from a separate consciousness.
This separate perspective is the true you.
Or… The Trou.
I’ve done this a few times. Something in my brain might be telling me, for instance, that I hate my apartment and how small it is. I do my best to actually look at that thought as something that doesn’t belong to me, and think “Focusing on this is making her feel worse and worse. She doesn’t deserve to feel bad! I’ll talk to her (taps mic) Ahem! Hey, Alison. Higher consciousness here. It sucks that your apartment is so small, yeah. Just wondering, though, what do you like about your apartment?”
And then I look around and say “Well, I like that I live here with just Alex and no roommates.”
“Yeah, that’s really lucky, not many people your age can do that! What else?”
“I like that even though it feels cramped sometimes, it has an upstairs and a basement and attic… and I like that I decorated it with cheerful colors, and that there’s a bath tub, and I love the new fridge, and blah blah blah…”
And before I know it, I’m feeling a lot better. And my higher consciousness winks at me from the clouds and mumbles “Tricked ya.”
I think the key here is reaching for the best feeling thought at that particular moment. Whatever makes you feel a little better than you did. It’s like a ladder, with each step up, it will be easier to reach the next rung of the ladder. You don’t skip 4 rungs when you’re climbing a ladder!
Try it if you want. Let me know how it works for you.
Before I go, I’m going to share a couple pictures from the painfully cold, but suuuper pretty walk Alex and I took the other day. The sun was setting and throwing pink gold light over everything. The Moon had risen on the other side, and it was all duality-ish and symbolism-y.
Giving it the old college try,