Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lonely Sinking Feeling

Cowboy Junkies
“Lonely Sinking Feeling
She says, 'i'm getting that lonely sinking feeling,
You know what I mean? '
With his hand on her back he's thinking,
'where does that leave me? '
Just when I think I've uncovered the secret
To peace and tranquility
That lonely sinking feeling creeps up on me…”

So, who hasn’t been here before? You know the feeling, that lonely sinking feeling that sneaks up on you, envelopes you and leaves you feeling so empty. Panic sets in, you want to run, you want to hide, you want to drink it away, work it away and just get as far away from it as possible. But, you can’t. At least not for long. You can’t escape that feeling. The only thing that you can do is settle yourself down right smack in the middle of that feeling and just feel it. It’s okay to feel empty and it’s okay to feel sad about feeling empty but you don’t necessarily have to do anything about it. When you sit right back into that feeling and realize that it’s okay to feel lonely, its okay to feel empty and it’s okay to feel sad there is no panic. We have these lonely sinking feelings come over us all now and then. We’re supposed to feel this way occasionally. We take on a lot, we do a lot, we ignore what’s going on inside of us a lot and sometimes that feeling needs to get very strong until we pay attention to it and understand what its really trying to say to us. If we don’t sit with the feeling and try to hear it’s wisdom, we may prolong our agony or we may make some pretty devastating decisions in our resulting panic. It’s not a good way to go.

Sometimes there is nothing wrong…our bodies are just adjusting to change and so we can respond by listening, by resting, by slowing down, being kinder and gentler with ourselves, eating better and maybe even taking vitamins…getting sunlight or exercise gently. If it is emotional, listening can lead us to the source, the core and once there we can uncover what is within our power to change to help accept the feelings. Sometimes the only answer or only solution is to find forgiveness…forgiveness for the universe, forgiveness for those in your past or present or simple forgiveness for yourself. There was a time in my life where that lonely sinking and anxious feeling settled over my soul. I panicked and felt something was really wrong. I fought that feeling with everything in me and all I got for my trouble was 6 months of insomnia. No bueno! I learned that there were some very important things trying to get my attention, things I had stuffed down, things I had run from and things I was choosing to ignore. I learned that panic on top of those feelings was not helpful. I learned that if I sat with the feeling it would eventually pass and there was no need for panic.

I don’t like waking up to feeling down or sad but now I know, when these feelings wash over me, there are thoughts at the core, judgments being made by me about me or there are things I’m holding onto I shouldn’t be holding onto. So, I get very still and I listen for as long as it takes to hear what it is my body and soul are trying to tell me. I’m kind to myself during such times and I find where I’m being hasty, in denial or otherwise not taking good care of myself. I adjust my thoughts. I adjust my diet. I adjust my exercise schedule. All of these things I do to help restore balance and then I can hear that still small voice that has been drowned out too long. If you can’t sit with the feeling on your own, I strongly suggest counseling to help you get to the core of what your body and soul are trying to tell you and then relax and let the process work and eventually you’ll start to feel the heaviness lift, the loneliness drift to the background and emptiness starting to fill with laughter and sunlight. Just like an injury…if you tense up, the pain is worse…it’s like that with those lonely, sinking and empty feelings too. Relax into them…don’t fight them and instead try to listen to what you body, mind or soul is trying to tell you. If you relax into the feelings instead of fight them and truly try to understand what is at the core and then finish up by taking healthy, appropriate and legal steps to right imbalances (and this has nothing ever to do with hurting yourself or anyone else) that lonely sinking and empty feeling will leave you.

Be well and be peaceful.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jaie!

    Great post. There's a lot of wisdom in your words. I appreciate the insights!