When Down is Up
FUNK: Fractured Ungainly Negative Knockout
I’m there again now, the sinking feeling of FUNK. Simple, really — just the wilting human emotions that we all experience from time to time.
I know the way Out. I really do. But sometimes I just want to feel the familiar tug, as if somehow it reminds me, I’m alive.
Because dead people don’t experience Funk. Only living, breathing beings experience the sagging emotions we regard as Down.
Why do I cling to my muddled moods, like a blanket? Why do I end up wandering back to their cradling arms, as if I need them — can’t live without them? What goodness does my being Down bring?
What a morbid, twisted reality we live in. I have the choice to kick the Funk, lock it forever away. But it’s as though I want it, I like it. Why? Why would I be addicted to something that doesn’t serve me?
Or does it serve me, somehow?
Exploring The Benefits of Down:
What could possibly lurk behind Down’s ruffles that brings benefit to my soul?
* The contrast of Down makes me appreciate Up! Like recovering from stinging nettles, you feel so good when the burning stops!
* Perhaps there is a restorative aspect to it. . . Like being exhausted after a long day, looking forward to tucking into the covers and finally going to sleep. . .
* Kind of like drinking? Sometimes I just want to get wasted — open a bottle of good wine, and honker in for the night.
* Perhaps Down allows me to re-set, re-boot my system somehow, like turning off the Computer, shutting off the Cell Phone, in order to prevent a complete and total technological melt-down (and freezing or dumping of Memory, by the way).
Perhaps this restorative, re-booting factor is why I crave being Down from time to time.
Perhaps this explains why I surrender to it, just for a while, before gathering Up the energy to finally kick it in the ass!
Strategies for Shifting from Down to Up:
* Down is actually laughable. So LAUGH! It releases endorphins — the feel-good hormones that lower stress and boost our immune system. (In fact my anthropology friend, Susan, tells me that in times of high stress, Indigenous Peoples have a different reaction than us Westerners. They LAUGH! When near-tragedy strikes, instead of melting Down, they break Out into a Deep-Belly-Laugh :-)
* Look Up! Look at all that I have, the home, the food, the cars! (My husband’s older-model Toyota Camry ‘WonderCar’ broke down by the side of the road last week, in the dark, in a snowstorm, and other than the inconvenience of two COLD AAA tow truck rides in less than 24 hours, the mechanic says it’s not the engine that blew, just the timing belt. Phew!)
* Ask myself: Am I in mortal danger right now? NO. Am I bleeding out? No. I’m allowing a FUNKY feeling to accelerate into something way more significant than the emotional drop in life’s bucket it really is. . .
* Perspective Shift: Look at all the goodness that surrounds me, and always has. Look backwards and see how my life has worked out ‘perfectly’ up to now. For each experience from my past has brought me to where I am today. . . Know that my Life will continue to work, health-wise, financially, in every way. Just as it has throughout the years, in every other crisis.
(Although, ‘you can’t always get what you want’ — it appears to be true, you do somehow, get what you need!)
* Remember, I can switch from Down to Up like switching channels on a TV — like Tony Robbins and the Fire Walk I did in the early 1980s. But I have to LOOK UP in order to shift the energy — and I have to resist the temptation to Look Down. (In the Fire Walk: Looking UP = pain-free exhilaration. Looking Down = BURNED feet!)
(Get this: Gratitude is to Funk what Bleach is to Bacteria. I like that!)
* Action is King! When I’m ready to shake off my Down and come back Up, it’s time to Take Action! Do something to shift the energy! I’ve made a list of some of the Action choices available to me. Even scrubbing toilets works! (See: Action ~ Inaction)
Depression Emergency Kit:
Several years ago I set out to deal with my FUNK and compiled what I call my ‘Depression Emergency Kit’ — which I keep in the ready on the desktop of my computer.
Basically, my ‘Kit’ is a list of Strategies that help pull me Out of my Down.
I can call Up my Kit in a moment’s notice. (This is important, because when we’re Down, we forget — forget what we need to Do to rise Out of our current doldrums. That’s part of the definition of Down — a sort of amnesia that finds us emotionally groveling on the ground, unable to see Up, Out, God-ward.)
I’ve been testing my Kit for a couple of years now, and it WORKS!
When I’m Down, I call Up my Kit, scroll the list of Strategies (action steps, really), go for the one that seems at-the-time-doable, and — little by little — the Funk lifts, the Down turns Up, and I begin to feel myself again, the ‘Self’ I want to be — the ‘Preferred Self’ I’d like to be.
If you like, I’ll share my Kit with you. Because maybe you, like me, find yourself Down in the Dumps from time to time.
And you might even convince yourself that that’s OK, that you like to wrap your moods around you like a blanket, let yourself sag there for a while. . .
But then, as Funk goes on, you might find that you’d like to reverse the process — pull yourself Out. But discover that somehow, in your fog, you’ve forgotten what it takes to kick the habit — and begin the journey back Up, into your ‘Preferred Self’ — again. . .
Hope it helps!
Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride
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