It’s one of those days again. Where my mind thinks it’s funny to question everything I do, and everything I am. I stand before the mirror and instead of seeing my beauties it decides to see my worst parts. It sees the pimples on my face, the messy few beard hairs that are coming through. My mind decides to criticize every word I write and forces me to rethink the entire creation process I am going through. It wants me to change things up because it’s not growing fast enough. It makes me believe that everything I do is shit.
And to be honest with you, that feeling gets worse and worse during the day. Nothing seems to help, and I know it’s nothing that others can help me with. It’s not note-worthy, or at least that’s what my brain again makes me believe. But right now the brain makes everything seem worse than it actually is. It even came up with the idea of completely quitting. Of giving up, and not just that but the thought of pulling back and going to a monastery crossed my mind again. It’s one of those thoughts that often return to me at my worst moments. On the days that everything feels heavy, and it doesn’t seem to stop raining inside my skull.
You might feel the same. You’ve probably experienced this before in your life, or are going through it right now. It could be just a day where the clouds are too thick for the sun to breakthrough. Or it could be weeks or months of continuous grey skies in your mind. Which I have gone through as well. It’s not necessarily depression, it doesn’t have to be that. It could also just be that you are down, that life wants to tell you something that you are consistently ignoring. That can create grey clouds as well.
It’s okay to have bad days. To feel dull, and moody. I go through these regularly. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, or to get rid of. It’s part of being human, it’s part of the ride of life. And I won’t tell you that you should focus on the sun behind the clouds, knowing that it is there. Because often in these moments where the grey clouds are so thick all you can think of is how bad you feel. And it might feel impossible to break through the clouds and think of the sun. You don’t have to. Here is why.
Part One: It’s Just Fine
Today is one of those days where everything to me feels horrible, it’s the constant doubt, the constant fear, and anxiety that go through my body and mind. All these things form the thick layer of grey clouds above me, and however hard I try to blow them away or to imagine the sun behind them it just doesn’t seem to work. I can’t seem to find a spot of light during these periods.
That made me think. Do we have to get rid of the grey clouds, or think of the sun behind the clouds? Wouldn’t that mean that we only enlarge the discontentment with the grey clouds? I thought of days where it was raining. Where the grey clouds I am experiencing in my head right now are outside of my window. Days where rain pours down and creates a gentle ticking on the window. It’s these days that mentally I feel less energetic, and I just slow down. It just doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy these days.
I don’t sit at my window looking outside, wishing that the clouds would go away. I’ve never done that. Instead, I enjoy the rain, I hear it gently tick on the window. I hear the wind howling past the house, and see the birds taking shelter underneath the porch. The world outside my window seems to have a break. There’s no one outside, not even the birds think of flying. And it’s just fine the way it is. The grey clouds and the rain make me feel comfortable inside because I know that I don’t have to go outside and stand in the pouring rain. When I watch these grey clouds move by, I never think that they are going to slow, or that I am these grey clouds. That I feel as sad as they look. They are just clouds outside my window, and the rain is just a southing sound, nothing to worry about.
To me those grey weather days are fine, and that’s when the lights turned on inside my head. The weather outside and the way I feel right now are the same. The grey clouds inside my brain resemble the grey clouds outside my window. And I could see these grey clouds inside my head, observe them, enjoy them, just as I would with the clouds on a rainy day. I don’t wish that the sun would pop through on rainy days. I just enjoy the rainy day as far as I can. It’s fine. It’s fine to experience a rainy day, and it’s just as fine to experience a rainy day within your brain.
Just as I am watching the clouds outside, I start observing the clouds inside my head. I see their shapes. I hear the rain they create inside my brain. It’s fine. It’s just fine, to have a bad day. To have a grey day. It’s just fine to not feel the need to change this. To be happy again, or to blow the clouds away. It’s just fine to not be able to visualize the sun behind the clouds. It’s all just fine.
Part Two: The Comfort of Rainy Days
On the rainy days I feel most drawn to putting on some sweatpants and a hoody, and just enjoy the quiet comfort of them. I enjoy some rest, watch some Netflix, learn a bit, enjoy some music, and feel what I am going through. I haven’t been doing that a lot lately. I haven’t been allowing myself to feel bad for a day. When that’s all we often need. Maybe not for a day, maybe for weeks, or days in a row. But it’s the rainy days that often invite me to enjoy its comfort. To cuddle up. To drink tea, and read, and relax. To refuel.
I decided to do that today. I wrote this article and then decided to relax a bit. And I might have the luxury to do this right now, you might not. But we all have days off, we all have a weekend, and if not you should seriously rethink your life. We need rest, especially if life is precious to you. It’s amazing to keep going. To push and work hard, but it’s just fine to enjoy the comfort of a rainy day when the grey clouds in your head take over. This is especially something I say towards the younger reader, of my age. Who thinks they have all the energy of the world. Who believe they should keep going, that they don’t have time to relax.
But a friend of mine has taught me a valuable lesson on this. He has never been the kind that worked all day long, where I was, and pushed myself too far too often. I still remember a particular conversation we had where he told me he enjoyed having a routine of not doing anything productive, inspiring, or work-related. He would just sit on the couch and watch some tv, scroll through social media, and enjoyed doing nothing special for a moment. He made this a routine. Which was funny to me, because I always created routines out of the things I had to do.
By which I mean that I created a routine out of meditating, journaling, exercising, writing, and so many more things, but never did I think of creating a routine out of doing nothing of value. Nothing important. Nothing noteworthy. To just enjoy a thick hoodie, an episode of my favorite Netflix show, and crawl into the corner of the couch. To enjoy myself a glass of whiskey, or just blankly stare outside. To do nothing for a moment.
And today, when the grey clouds dominated my mind I enjoyed remembering his advice again. To enjoy the comfort of a rainy day. To enjoy the comfort of these grey cloudy days. I decided to read a bit more. To watch a Netflix episode midday, to mess around with my camera, to enjoy a cup of coffee with my mum, and enjoy the dogs running around the house. A perfect day of doing nothing note-worthy.
Part Three: Nothing
Normally all my posts consist of three parts. But this time I found it fitting to do nothing in the third part. To allow you to have some time off. To enjoy doing nothing. To feel bad. To see the grey clouds like I am doing right now. To feel what you are feeling. To not feel the need to get rid of the clouds. To embrace the grey dull day, like all other days. It’s part of life. Allow yourself to feel it for a moment. To enjoy today, and say Today I Lived. I made the most of today’s grey clouds in my mind. They too are part of my life’s experience.