All day yesterday, I felt utterly exhausted. Not just slightly tired – completely out of gas.
There’s really no specific reason for this. I got plenty of sleep and it seemed to be fairly restful sleep. The weather turned slightly cooler, at least for a day, so I wasn’t suffering from heat and humidity. Honestly, I did not eat all that well – that may have contributed – but that cannot be the sole reason.
No – something is definitely wrong here. It’s like my plug suddenly got pulled and my charge has slowly begun to drain away. As I lay on the couch, staring at the ceiling I started to wonder if I was depressed. I truly thought through it and realized that I wasn’t feeling any of the normal symptoms of depression – at least the ones I have experienced before. I wasn’t anxious – quite the opposite.
I was tired, yet calm. Utterly drained of energy, yet somehow mentally alert. It began to feel like a strange contradiction of energies.
As I think about it today, some ideas are finally forming. I think everyone has moments in life where they realize that they have been putting up a brave front, pretending to be strong, being a “pillar of strength” for others when in reality they are on the verge of breakdown. The energy of finally crumbling under the exhaustion of pretending for others – that’s something I recognize.
But I haven’t been doing that. If anything, I have been fairly open and transparent with others and I haven’t pretended to be anything. Then it came to me. I have been doing it to myself. Doh!
My inner voices have felt so negative that I have done everything in my power to think more positively. I have journaled, done self-help courses, meditated, and nearly anything possible to reframe my negative thinking. All the while, those voices weren’t repatterned, they were just pushed down by louder and more appealing voices.
I have made one of the primary mistakes of spiritual development – ignoring the negative and pretending that it is not there. I think about it now like a having a house full of cats. If you ignore them they will be loud at first, then they go through a silent phase as they plot revenge, then they wreak havoc by tearing up the furniture to get your attention.
The Buddhists talk about the “monkey mind” but I now think of it as the “vengeful cat mind.”
Those angry cats finally pulled them plug on my energy to force me to pay attention. I have been putting up a brave front for myself. I have been pretending that I am doing fine, when in reality that is not true. I am decidedly not fine at the moment.
I realize today, after sleeping for twelve hours – yes, I really did sleep for that long – that I need to be more honest with myself about how I am feeling. I will keep working on my spiritual development, but with the knowledge that I need to pay attention to my negative voice, let them speak, give them play so that I can then work to repattern them – not shut them down.
Quarantine should be getting easier – it’s not. It gets harder and harder for me as the days limp by in endless repetition. I can only face things as they come, and today I have to just let myself feel bad when I need to feel bad. There’s nothing wrong with honoring negative emotions.
Now, the trick is, how to repattern them without allowing them to take over again!
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.