I feel almost embarrassed to admit this, but I have to ‘fess up:
… my moods are ever changing …
They go up. They go down. My mental weather is not the eternal sunshine of a spotless mind because my mind is not spotless; it gets clouded up there in my head. My mind gets full – mostly with thinking that is invisible to me. But I always know when I’ve veered into a patch of heavy weather because I feel the darkness creeping in.
Sometimes it’s as if a fine grey mist curls its way through my veins, seeping through my pores, smothering my joie de vivre with a seemingly impenetrable veil of fog. At times like these, it is hard to remember that I have happiness built in as standard. Infused with a pervasive grim gloom, it all feels too inaccessible somehow; unreachable. As illusory as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
My overall mental climate of late has been inclement. Relentlessly overcast. There have been pockets of sunshine peeping through, spreading rays of delight, but mostly there has just been a festering brooding moodiness. In days gone by, this would have floored me; sent me on an indefatigable quest to find out why; had me rummaging through my toolbox of techniques to find the fix or had me flagellating myself with the whips of guilt, shame and blame.
At a seminar a few years back, I heard Dr Dicken Bettinger talk of being comfortable in our discomfort and of becoming un-reasonable. There is no reason, good or bad, for feeling the way that I do sometimes, other than the quality of my thinking in the moment has taken a dip. My internal barometer (feeling state) clearly indicates this. I could lay the blame on many things outside myself, but this would get me nowhere, other than further away from the freshness of spirit and peace of mind that I know is resting just a thought away.
There is comfort for me in knowing this. For knowing that the nature of our Being is well, but for our thinking in the moment which makes it seem otherwise. In my experience these moments last only as long as it takes for me to slow down and wake up (again!) to the truth of who we really are. I no longer feel compelled to do something about my mental weather, no matter how uncomfortable it feels, because I know that, at some point, it will change.
I rarely get ill, blessed as I am with the constitution of an ox, but at the beginning of the year I had that Ready Brek feeling; I was glowing. Shivering. Feverish. Eyes streaming. Nose stuffed up. Limbs aching. There was no doubt that I had caught some flu-like bug.
In the midst of it all, it was hard to remember exactly how a body brimming with health and vitality feels, just as, on returning from a beautiful-sun-filled-blue-sky-holiday, it is hard to remember how it feels to be wrapped in warmth when faced with bone-chilling dreary dampness.
Our bodies are designed to maintain optimal health by regulating our internal environment to achieve physiological balance (homeostasis). Why is it so hard to imagine that our psychological system would be any different? The truth is we are designed to self correct. When I leave well alone, weather the storm, so to speak, my mental health reveals itself again – no fix or answers needed.
So I no longer chase the rainbows of perpetual happiness because the rainbow itself is just a trick of the light, a personal perspective, an illusion – it is no real thing. But I am certain that my pot of happiness exists, always, in the river of gold that is the presence of Mind.
“Optimism is a spiritual quality and a guiding light that will lead you to your happiness. Pessimism, on the other hand, is a disease of the human thought system that leads the thinker into the darkness of despair.”
Sydney Banks, The Missing Link (p.51)