We are taught that when we have a pain or discomfort that we should do something about it. We medicate ourselves with many things: medication for the headache, happy hour for the exhausting week, food for the sadness. Many articles exist in how most of us care for ourselves in not so healthy ways.
Yesterday was a hybrid day for me; I had a great meeting with other college instructors which was productive and was feeling good.
And then, BAM!
It hit me. No reason. No excuse. I was just not in a good place.
Perhaps you have been in that place. The place where you feel that you need to do something but you aren’t sure what you need to do. The place where you are isn’t comfortable but nothing seems to help.
I was out and I wanted to go home but I didn’t want to go home.
I tried to finish my errands, do some activities which sometimes help.
Alas, nothing helped.
Not the gorgeous Calvin Klein shoes I bought at Dillards (I knew at the time that retail therapy wasn’t what I needed and they will probably go back), not the large sweet tea from McDonalds (I had already had my Starbucks for the day and this girl does have some limits). I did call a friend and while I was on the phone with her I felt better and then the phone call ended…..
After I made it home, I realized something that I have known for some time. There are times in life when it is perfectly acceptable to not be OK or as I like to say “It’s OK to Not be OK.”
If you have ever practiced yoga, you know that when you are asked to hold a pose, at times it can seem like FOREVER. Sometimes these poses can be painful and delightful at the same time. The pose can hurt at first as the muscles are tight but as you continue, you begin to feel the release in the body and you are able to relax. I once read a Jennifer Anniston quote discussing life being very similar to yoga poses (this was also probably one of those articles where they asked her about how hard it must be regarding Brad Pitt, that she can’t seem to find true love etc). I can no longer find the exact quote but it was discussing how we often have to sit with something that is not comfortable at first and then sometimes wonderful things can happen.
The discomfort is not a bad thing. We naturally want to pull away from the pain and not hold the pose but if we are able to hold that pose, in time we become comfortable. In time the tension we have been holding is released. In time, our body adjusts and is able to do wonderful things.
Our emotional health is very similar. No one likes to be uncomfortable or in pain. No one likes to be sad or grieve. My natural instinct is to stay busy and to accomplish things. However, I’ve reached a point where those coping mechanisms are not what I need.
I realized last night, as I’ve told countless clients, that I need to just be.
As I’ve done in yoga, I need to hold where I am at and realize that I am changing for the better. In order to move through my journey of grief, I must sometimes sit and be uncomfortable.
For there is beauty in simply being. The human body physically can not change for the good if we do not put pressure on it (cardio, weights, yoga). I believe that neither can the emotional/spirit side of our life change without some stress and pressure.
Of course, it is up to each of us to make sure the stress and pressure we are placing on our bodies is positive. Overeating, over medicating, strong avoidance to emotions are pressure in a negative sense.
So on those days or moments when I’m not OK, I am going to try to allow myself the space to be comfortable with that.
My challenge to you is to do the same.
Are there areas in your life where you are not recognizing the discomfort?
What do you need to do about it?
Is it something you should sit with or something you should change?
Now I”m going to take a deep breath and practice some yoga!!