Thursday, February 18, 2010

Letting Myself "Be"

Ever have those days when you are just in a funk?  When you are just having a "grumpy day"?  Nothing is overtly wrong, but you just don't feel like yourself.  You can't put your finger on the reason for it, but you know that you aren't in your usual state of mind.  When this happens, sometimes, I find myself feeling quiet or withdrawn.  Other times, I just want to not tax my brain too much and let myself rest. 

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned over the years is to simply let myself "be".  This morning, my youngest niece, who is 7, told me on the phone that she was having a "grumpy day".  I told her I was having a grumpy day too.  Then, I said, "You know, it's okay to have a grumpy day every once in a while.  You can let yourself feel grumpy today, and then tomorrow I bet you will feel better." 

Often we fight our natural feelings because we think we need to present a happy face to the world, or that we need to be up and energetic, when we really are feeling everything BUT happy and energetic.  I have found that the more I let myself "be" and not fight the "grumpy" feelings, the faster they dissipate and the less I want to indulge in something sweet or unhealthy.  It's almost like engaging in reverse psychology with myself.  The less I fight feeling the way that I do, the faster my mind and body work through the emotions. 

It took me many years to learn to value this state of just "being".  I am a very active person, with an active mind, always planning and thinking about what I want to accomplish on a daily basis.  I had always thought that just "being"  - and not "doing" anything - was giving in to the negative feelings or somehow acquiescing to them.  Sometimes, I worried that those feelings might stick and not go away if I chose to "accept" them and that I might end up unmotivated, sluggish, and sad. 

Growing up, I had always valued the state of "doing" to make things better.  Taking action to fix the problem.  Seeing a need and filling it.  While it is important not to dwell permanently in the land of "problems" and "grumpy days", it is also key to know that sometimes we just need permission to accept those feelings as they just "be".  So, just for today, I am going to let myself "be" and I have resolved to be okay with that.  I am not going to fight it.  I am just going to observe and feel the emotions, let them pass through me, and watch myself naturally return to a state of balance.  In short, I am going to accept with grace that today is just a "grumpy day".