Like an Alligator Waiting for Lunch

I was once told by a psychic family member to ‘watch out for the circles within the circles’.

It’s puzzled me for years. I was never able to work out what it meant. By contrast there was another message accompanying it that actually nearly made me crash the car when it was told to me (yes I was driving), so pertinent it was. The second message’s veracity was why I gave credence to the ‘circles’ message, but however hard I tried, I never did get that one.

Life tends to go in cycles, I admit, and while its true that out of one’s work, home, emotional and social lives it’s rare that you’ll get all of them firing on all cylinders at once in terms of positivity, there also seems to be times where at all goes completely to shit at once.

Nothing outward need ever have happened, (but sometimes it does) and something inside perhaps triggered a switch from happy to not happy and bang! Down you go, and the work starts once again to climb out of the mire and regain the good ground.

Its severity can be low or high, but the direction is the same. Its cause can be chemical, emotional, due to the weather, or any number of other crazy sources. And the voice in your head (presumably, hopefully, your own) is saying ‘why am I feeling like this, I was perfectly fine’ while the body responds to the question in feelings, the internal life equivalent of an interpretive dance.

So we seek the solutions;
Good relations with our nearest and dearest – check
Get checked out at the doctors – check
Return to abandoned spiritual practices – check

And you survey the scene from your lofty new post only to see that its pretty much just the same crappy soup as before, just with a few more ingredients, and you sink down into the mire again, remaining still, eyes just above the mud line like an alligator waiting for signs of lunch.

Then stuff begins to happen.
An opportunity arises and you find a voice to express what you’re going through in a safe place. Words put out there, onto paper, screen or in conversation, no longer let the things they emote have power inside your head any more.
A loved one reaches out for help, and because you’ve trodden that particular part of the path before you can act as a guide for them. And in helping them on their healing journey, you begin to heal yourself.
You get the chance to laugh and to make others laugh, and the laughing continues the healing.

And then the mire starts to fall away, and clarity begins to return. And the weather gets better (Spring! Yay!) and the cycle of positivity turns towards the regaining of equilibrium and things just don’t look so bad.

The key things here:
Patience – the last thing you have when you feel down; you’re so scared you won’t get back out of the pit that panic can set in.
Quiet – when you’re down it’s actually a really good place to take some time for stillness. Don’t plan anything, just be where you are. You can’t dodge around this; you just have to get through it. Try a bit of meditation, tai chi or yoga and know that it will always pass and things will start to seem better.
Tolerance – show yourself a bit of love. Take care of yourself, do things to nurture your spirit body and mind. In the midst of the storm it’s the best that we can do for ourselves.
Hope – probably the most important thing because it allows you to exercise patience, quiet and tolerance with a peaceful heart.

I’ve probably written this piece as a memo to myself as much as to anyone else; to remember the way back – my personal trail of breadcrumbs. It’s not a solution to clinical depression which is another ballpark altogether, and perhaps one that I will write about in the future. This is about those times that if we don’t address them can turn into serious depressive episodes, and I reckon if I go through these kind of down times, then probably others do, too. Thankfully I have learned to manage that ol’ black dog and it has been many a year since it came calling at my door.

Maybe this is the circles within the circles, that we’re part of a chain of healing and its only by reaching out to the person next to us, to help them make that one step you’ve made before, and the person on the other side of you does that for you too, that we become part of those circles? Its open to interpretation, and thankfully this one isn’t too tortured!

We have in each of us the means of our own health and liberation, we need to believe that always, and we sometimes need to write it down just to remember that fact.

Have a lovely week.

Published by Maggie

Writer, traveller, observer.

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