When the sky is blue but you have grey clouds overhead

Yesterday was midsummer’s day. Summer Solstice. The longest day and shortest night. And, here in the UK, it was a scorcher. Bright blue skies, full blazing sun, nature at the peak of her growth and fullness.

Various friends of mine had got up at dawn to welcome the day. Some danced, some drummed, some merely watched the sun rise. My social media stream was full of glorious images of sunshine and socialising. People having fun and glorying in the delightfulness of the day. But I just wasn’t feeling it.

In fact, I was feeling sad, sore and lonely. As much as I wanted to be feeling celebratory and cheerful under the bright blue sky, a grey cloud stayed stubbornly over my head.

My hayfever symptoms were bad so I had to stay indoors. My thoughts were with a dear friend who had passed away several years earlier (summer was her domain). I just couldn’t shake off the feelings of sadness. And the more I saw of the day, the more guilt I felt for feeling this way. I should be enjoying the day the same as everyone else. What was wrong with me?

Do you recognise this feeling?

Do you have an internal voice that says you should be okay, you should be happy?

That is not the voice of your soul.

Your soul voice is far more compassionate and loving and says something like…

Aww honey, I’m sorry that you’re feeling sad and sore and lonely. Perhaps it’s not surprising. You’re dealing with a lot at the moment. And you know what? You’re doing pretty darned well all in all. It may look like everyone else has got it sorted, but actually they are just doing the best they can right now too. And you know there’s never any pressure to feel a certain way just because of a date on the calendar. You have to trust your own feelings here. Trust your own needs.

So, my love, what do you need right now?

In order to hear that voice I had to get still. It took until the early evening for me to tune into my soul and to ask ‘what do I need right now?’

I needed a hug but there was no one there to ask for one. So I messaged a couple of trusted friends instead and simply told them I was having a hard day. I needed to go to the sea and wade into the cool water. But I was too tired to make the drive so I had a nap instead. And I needed to offer myself the same compassion that I would give to anyone else who was having a difficult day. So I stopped beating myself up about not enjoying this ‘special day’ and recognised that my feelings are real and needed to be felt and maybe this day was the perfect day for that after all…

I felt I should be mirroring the lightness and brightness of nature but, in fact, I needed to spend some time in the shade – literally and metaphorically. The light held me while I visited that place. I didn’t need to stay there, but it was important to acknowledge and say hi to the feelings.

I waved goodbye to them overnight. Found my way back to my centre. And, this morning, I’m able to visit joy again.

Appreciating nature (even from behind a closed window). Time being still (meditating or simply pausing). Connecting with myself and with others (and being grateful for those who are in my life). And being creative (writing this blog!). These are the pillars I lean on.

How about you?

What do you lean on when the grey clouds are overhead?

Dearest, what do you need right now?

photo credit: Lyz Scarr-Quin

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