Today, it’s raining. It’s been raining for at least four days now. I know it’s been at least four days, because four days ago a friend and I tried to go for a walk. A bit of drizzle would have been ok. But this was fierce, sheeting, slashing rain with flooding underfoot. With the respite of a few hours, it’s been like this ever since. The sky is grey. It is windy. It is COLD. Eleven degrees centigrade in the middle of the day in June in the UK is NOT normal. I have even had the heating back on. To my knowledge, this has never happened before.
On the basis of the presenting evidence, I could be forgiven for falling into extreme thinking: the sun is NEVER coming out again. In fact it’s forgotten us, it’s fallen out of the sky, it doesn’t even exist any more. That’s it, summer is over, in fact sunny days EVER are over.
Honestly, this kind of thinking would make me feel very VERY depressed. But at the same time, it wouldn’t be totally irrational thinking, given the circumstances, would it? It might be very easy to slip into.
How often do we do it in our own lives? I’ll never be happy again, no one will ever love me again, in fact I am completely fat, ugly, unloveable. I am doomed to be by myself for the rest of my life. And we don’t stop there: I am stupid, I’ll never get another job, my life is over, I don’t deserve anything better.
Boy!!! If I were thinking in that way about these four days of rain, I really would be depressed. If I genuinely believed the sun was never coming out again.
And honestly, the only reason I am not thinking along those lines, the reason I not only have hope, but a KNOWING the sun will come out (preferably in time for my camping holiday next week), is past evidence.
Contrary to what the present circumstances might be trying to tell me, I KNOW that the sun still exists. Not only that, but that it will shine on ME again. Yes, little old undeserving me.
And so it is in your own life. Have a look back over your life. Have there been ups and downs? Have there been times when you have felt like this, and in fact you HAVE been happy again? Has there ever been a time when someone has dumped you and you have found someone else afterall?
Do you genuinely GENUINELY believe that your present circumstances will last forever?
Be careful of black and white thinking, of all or nothing thinking. Instead of ‘I’ll never be happy again.’ Say ‘I’m not happy right now.’ Or even better, ‘past experience shows me that I will be happy again one day.’ Even if you don’t REALLY believe it, start saying it anyway.
Like the rain, sometimes you just have to wait it out.
I am BIG on the outdoors, I love to get out for a walk or in the garden whenever I can. The rain really affects my activities. But it doesn’t have to affect my mood. I can find alternatives. I can snuggle up with a book. Or write this blog post. Or even watch telly (I actually did that yesterday, not something I do often, and definitely NOT in the middle of the day. It was fab). I have been on the phone to friends more than normal, I have cooked more than normal, I have even tidied up my filing (again, not usually top of my ‘to do’ list). As you can see, although I love the outdoors, I dislike the rain more!
Did I mope? No. Did I still manage to have a good time? Yes. Because of one little thing: my thinking. Knowing this is temporary. That it is ok to do different things for a short time. That the sun will reappear.
If you are feeling down, it’s ok to look after yourself, to nurture yourself, to allow yourself to feel it, to do different things for a short time. I know it’s easy to think you will feel this way forever. But at the same time, deep down, I know YOU know it’s not true. I know you have evidence to the contrary. If you can, grab hold of that evidence and hold onto it, keep repeating it to yourself. It will focus your thoughts away from the rain and onto the sun. Which is, I promise you, coming out again, even for you.
P.S. If you are struggling to find the sun in your own life, my ‘Return to Self’ programme can help. We clear emotions and limiting beliefs, including from past lives, we introduce more joy, more self love, more acceptance, better boundaries. And the sun starts shining in your world, EVEN when it is raining outside.
If anything in this article has triggered you, or if you are finding yourself in a very rainy place, please get help from a GP or counsellor, or call the Samaritans.