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A Melancholy Saturday

It was just another normal Saturday.  I taught one yoga class, came home to give my girls some lunch, then shuttled one of my girls to a birthday party and in between helped my mom and got some errands done.  Behind the scenes of a pretty pleasant day was a slight lingering melancholy.  I was aware of it, but there was no turning toward it.  In fact, I am pretty sure it had been building through the week, but who has time for melancholy most days. Right?

Almost evening and the lingering feeling was beginning to be more annoying than anything.  It was definitely not passing.  After the birthday parties and the errands, there was finally a moment where I opted to listen.  It was a voice telling me “Your knee is aching and you’re a little bummed that it has not gotten better yet.  You are acting like it’s all fine, but in fact you kind of miss being more active than you have been able to be.”  I heard the voice and immediately disregarded it.  I was not going to be a drama queen.  It was just my knee and it would get better and things could be so much worse.  There are people who are blind or without limbs or facing cancer.  I was not going to be a baby about this.  Or so I thought.  The melancholy continued.  Even my sternest voice didn’t  scare it away.

It was interesting to see how the stoic side of me wanted to completely disregard feelings that I viewed to be, well, wimpy for lack of a better word.  It was actually a form of denial and rejection.  Regardless of the reasons, I didn’t want to accept what I was feeling and the feelings responded by continuing to only get stronger.  Even worse, acknowledging them didn’t make them magically disappear, but something else did happen.  For a while, I wasn’t struggling with them.  Oddly enough I felt a little lighter, even while I continued to feel a bit down.  I had to tell myself I wasn’t being a wimp, nor was I overdramatizing.  Yes, things can always be worse and this was not that bad in the big scheme of things.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  Still I am only human.  In denying my feelings, I only deny my humanness.  When I do that to myself, I am more likely to do the same to others.

I see this as I parent at times.  Most often I am very willing to let my kids feel their way through crying, sadness or frustrations, but there are also days where I tell them “Please can you just stop crying already.  Grow up. ”  The crying may even stop, but I don’t think I have helped them in processing what was arising.  In fact, I only shut it down.  There is a fine balance, but shutting down our emotional processes is often not the answer.  If anything turning toward it is.  Some days the feelings will be light, other days heavy.  Some days fleeting, others quite persistent.  However, they are all sure to pass at some point, but not without taking the time to be with them.

So for today melancholy it is and that is completely ok.

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