Over the past month or so there have been moments I’ve felt really grouchy and edgy. Instead of being with it, I resisted it. I didn’t want to feel grouchy! I told myself “What’s wrong with you? You’re not being as pleasant as usual. Smile!” I wasn’t showing up how I wanted to and I was disappointed and annoyed at myself. Have you ever felt like that? Where you see it happening and you resist and it persists?
I’ve heard the saying (or something like it) that a “complaint is just an unexpressed desire” and I believe it! I just don’t remember it consistently in the moments I need it most.
What if the better question was “what do I need right now?” When I rephrased it that way it created space for me to be imperfect and think about what I actually needed. Turned out I needed sleep and I needed space to recharge and rest from so much doing. I’d been living in the world of details (kid logistics, end of school year events, summer camp health forms, work, etc), and too much activity. Many of these activities were wonderful and I was excited about them but the pace was too fast, the spacing was too close together and I became depleted…and grouchy. Thank goodness a well-timed vacation saved the day and I felt renewed. I slept more. Relaxed. Spent time outdoors. Enjoyed being with family and reading books. Took a break from email and technology. Now, I want to incorporate some of that into daily life so I can renew myself on a more regular basis vs. waiting until I’m depleted or grouchy.
What if instead of criticizing our own bad moods we saw grouchiness as a signpost pointing us toward what we needed? Allowing myself to just be and let go of the story that I should be in a different state had a magical effect on me. It felt like I finally had the key to a previously locked doorway which led me to a place where I could give myself what I needed.
What if we asked ourselves “What do I need right now? Today? In this moment?”