I woke up this morning feeling blue.
Now I know it’s likely that if I’m feeling unhappy (or any other feeling, like anger or irritability, where I’m disconnected from myself) then the internal dialogue of my mind is lying to me about something; either about me, about other people, or about life itself. Likely all three.
Knowing that didn’t help this morning though. Instead my mind just used this insight as a stick to beat me up even more. I should know better, and get off my own case.
I don’t like feeling like this. (Who does?) So in an attempt to change my state I did a few things on my train journey: I thought about it; I meditated; and I fell asleep. I still felt sad.
Back home in London I gave in to my tears, and instantly I remembered feelings like this as a little girl of about four years old. Regularly, as I was put to bed by my dad, I would be crying. He’d ask me why I was sad, and I’d tell him I didn’t know. And that not knowing why, I felt even more upset. Like the loving parent he was, he would comfort me. I still felt sad.
So here now, about 50 years later I say under my breath, “I felt sad then and I didn’t know why, and it’s okay.” Now I’m really sobbing. I’ve given myself permission to feel (as opposed to demand that I feel better, i.e. have a feeling that I like).
And then I begin to write, letting my pen flow, and what emerges is a message from the adult I am, to the little girl I was:
“It’s normal what you’re feeling. You’re feeling what each one of us at some time feels. Don’t worry that you don’t know what it’s about. It’s enough that you feel it. Sometimes we don’t know. In fact there’s so much in life we don’t know. It really is okay not to know. Really. Have a good old cry. I’m with you.”
I take a breath. I still feel sad. And relieved too.