Welcome back to the blog!
Today I'm reposting an entry from the archives. I hope this is helpful to anyone out there who might be struggling! Enjoy :)
Hey-o dearest Reader.
So we have rounded the corner and completed another lap: Sunday is back and it's time for the Sunday Series! Today I have to be honest with you all: this past week I've been feeling completely unqualified to give out life advice, heart wisdom, or any opinions on faith.
And you know why? Well Reader, I think I'm in a funk.
Yep. A funk: a low feeling that I just can't shake no matter what. It doesn't help that the weather is MISERABLE, the scenery is hideous, our basement flooded, my face has been breaking out, my thighs feel puffy, and my heart feels empty.
This time in March I ALWAYS begin feeling weird. It's smooth sailing for the entire first part of the month, but then halfway through I'm laid out on my bed, sleeping for hours and craving sugar.
Every year the routine is the same: March comes and I start to slip into the funk, but unaware of what's going on, I begin to blame my emotions on the melting snow, a change in hormones, or any other insecurity. But then after MUCH journaling, prayer, and self-reflection, I realize, "oh yeah Cait! It's March 15! THAT'S why you feel like a hollowed-out version of yourself."
Three years ago around this time of year, I experienced one of the most painful times in my life. And every year since then, I relive the dread, grief, despair, and pain all over again for two weeks.
Aren't humans so interesting? When our minds try to forget painful events, our bodies say "NO! You need to deal with these feelings!!!" We try to walk away from that pain mentally and emotionally, but often we physiologically cannot escape. Our bodies manifest the stress, trauma, inner conflict, and heart break until all we can do is eat cookies and cry.
But in all seriousness, this isn't exactly a bad thing. Sometimes the best thing to do in a funk is to EMBRACE our pain and grief. Instead of walking away and trying to shove down these feelings, we can take the opportunity to listen to our bodies and to nurture our hearts.
I tend to dole out a lot of advice entered around self-mastery and discipline, but I also think it's important to be intuitive and nurturing with ourselves.
Sometimes pushing yourself through a painful time won't actually work. Sometimes you need to allow yourself to rest, cry, and get in touch with your emotions. This doesn't mean you're weak and it doesn't mean you're broken: it just means that you're caring for yourself enough to actually let yourself heal.
I also always talk about living life wholeheartedly. This sounds sweet, positive, and fluffy, but really, it includes a lot of hard things. Wholehearted living demands that we pay attention to our funks. It demands that we embrace our pain, allow ourselves to cry, and actively work through our emotions.
Living life wholeheartedly is about focusing on the WHOLE of your heart: it's about keeping your heart in one piece and allowing yourself to go through the various emotions, experiences, and healing that it needs.
Sometimes we are experiencing REAL pain: pain that won't dissolve after a heavy dose of reason, logic, and brute force. It's not always wise or discerning to give ourselves tough love with every situation.
Tough love is helpful when we are pushing ourselves towards goals in a positive and life-giving way, but sometimes the most life-giving thing we can do for ourselves is to allow our hearts to take a breather and allow our tear ducts to let off some steam.
So today, I say that if you're in a funk, allow yourself to feel it. Take some time to write, take some time to rest, and take some time to heal-- just make sure you are not hurting people around you.
It can be difficult to keep our emotions in check when we are feeling raw: this often results in hurtful words spewed at our spouses or loved ones. Allowing ourselves to embrace the funky painful times does not mean that we have a free pass to be cruel to our loved ones.
Allow your heart to rest, but do not let your guard against sinful behavior slip. We are still called to love those around us, even in the midst of our most raw and painful times.
I wanted to write today's blog post to let you in a little bit on my heart-happenings. I want you to know that everybody, even the most bubbly people, go through funky and painful times in life.
Scripture reminds us that our God is a God who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3.) What a good God we serve.
And if you don't believe in God, I still want to encourage you that sometimes, pushing forward with self-discipline and action isn't always the best way to handle a funky time: allow yourself to heal.
Finally, I need to add that I wrote the lion's share of this blog post last night when I was in a particularly funky state of mind. But as I edit and finish it off, I am writing with a relieved heart.
I took the morning to drive down the coast of Lake Michigan listening to music and taking pictures. I sipped hot coffee from a thermos and allowed my heart to feel sad. In short, I embraced my grief, and funnily enough, each tear came paired with a feeling of intense relief.
So in total friends, I encourage you: embrace your grief, embrace your funk. Embrace the heartbreak and allow yourself to FEEL. Don't run from these things, because if you do, they will catch you anyways.
Today let's all agree that life isn't perfect and sometimes we experience funks. But even with all of this pain, we always have a choice: we can embrace our funky times and guide them through our hearts, or we can allow them to creep up and bite us from behind.
I hope you have a sweet day reader. I know that I already feel so much better.