That overwhelming sense of sadness that suddenly descends upon you … when there’s absolutely nothing wrong.
We all feel it.
If we look around, things on the surface look pretty darn good. We have everything we want, except that a nagging feeling of melancholy keeps hovering over our hearts like a Category 1 hurricane waiting to happen. It may not cause a lot of damage, but it’s annoying enough to damper our mood for a while.
It’s a type of melancholy that makes teenage angst seem like an endorphin high on speed.
But why are we so afraid to admit that something is wrong? Not just to others, but to ourselves? Is it because we fear that if we accept that there’s an emptiness inside us that nothing seems to fulfill we’ll finally have to find a way to fulfill it?
Better to be in denial and stay busy, right? Maybe it will just go away.
But IT doesn’t. And the more we pretend IT is not there … the moment we turn on the television, reach for our smartphone for the latest alert, troll through social media, IT is sitting right beside us, crowding our space, making us even more miserable than we already were.
And speaking of social media. How’s that for a humbling experience, showing us that compared to others, our lives completely suck? So, get with it! Don’t just sit there, go do something productive to show your worth and post it on Facebook!
At the end of a day of aimlessly running around being “productive,” we reach for a glass of wine, or two, or 15, to take the edge off, but no amount of alcohol will drown out the truth that’s longing to come to the surface. The truth that despite all the noise surrounding us every day, there’s something missing.
We grew up to be who we wanted to be, but along the way, we lost who we were.
Now, let’s face it. All is not doom and gloom and I simply exaggerate just a tiny bit to get your attention. I tend to do that. (Go ahead, roll your eyes in acknowledgement. I’ll take it as a compliment.)
There are moments when we glimpse happiness and fulfillment. Moments when we gaze into our significant other’s eyes, when we cuddle with our pets, when we watch our children grow up to be amazing people, when we laugh our asses off over the antics of animal videos on the internet, when we dance naked alone in our kitchens as if nobody’s watching and suddenly, somebody is. (I’m making that up. I only dance naked in the living room.)
But those moments are few and far between because we’re so busy doing all the ancillary stuff of life that real life passes us by.
So what is IT?
IT is that little voice inside of us, screaming for us to STOP! – Stop before our bodies break down and force us to do so. Stop before we look back and realize we missed so much frantically doing so little.
And how do we tame IT?
By doing the exact opposite of what we’ve been doing.
Instead of adding more to our already overflowing glutton-envying plate of to-do lists and tasks, we need to put down our forks, step away from the table and go for a nice long walk. (Or dance naked in the living room, if that sounds like something you might like.)
IT is a cranky toddler screaming for attention. But IT knows what’s best for you. Because IT is the you that you lost somewhere between the playground and the office conference room.
And the only way to quiet IT is to do … nothing… except the hardest thing of all …