Embracing the suck

I’m usually an optimist.

When I’m in a good mood, I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Forgiveness. Understanding. I even, at the best of times, extend that same grace to myself. I know we all make mistakes. Sometimes I can embrace that. Accept it. Even laugh at it.

But when I’m down… oof. I go all the way down. I question everyone and everything. Even things I was sure of the day before. I question loyalty. Friendship. What I want. My direction. My heart.

I used to hate this about myself. I’d call it a spiral and just hold on until it passed, but I’ve learned that holding on isn’t as effective as letting go. I truly believe most situations can teach us lessons if we’re open to them, and I wasn’t learning the lessons by plugging my fingers in my ears and screaming. Optimism is great and all, but maybe some things need to be questioned, and maybe it takes going all the way down to be able to look at those situations (or relationships) critically.

It’s possible not everyone deserves my grace and understanding, not all the time, at least. Maybe sometimes I just have to let go and embrace the suck? Learn what it has to teach me. The dark has as much to teach as the light, maybe more, and I might not be able to look at things critically when I’m whistling a happy tune. The dark might show me things I don’t particularly want to see, but I need to see. Not just in the areas of my life I’m struggling, but in a lot of different areas. Maybe what I thought was a spiral is actually an unfiltered, unbiased look at my life and relationships, and not through rose colored glasses. Not everything I thought I wanted passes muster. Not everyone I thought cared about me has shown it. Not everyone I’ve been pouring into deserves my precious time, energy, and attention. In some cases, not everyone I’ve loved has loved me back. In fact, maybe this dark is telling me I’m chasing the wrong things and people, and it’s time to turn around.

Ouch. No wonder I’m fighting it.

Not everything is this complicated. No doubt some of these spirals are just plain bad moods or pity parties. Those are part of life, too. Do they have things to teach? Not always, unless what they’re teaching is that tomorrow is a new day. That’s an important lesson, too. But sometimes it’s worth a deeper look into that dark. You might be surprised what you find there.

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