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Eric's Sunday Sermon; What of the Doldrums

Updated on March 31, 2016

Just a normal tree caught in the perfect light.

We can't always have the picture perfect moment.
We can't always have the picture perfect moment. | Source

What is normal - for you?

Oh my we talk too much around here of the power of love. We talk like if you do not have it every single moment of the day you are missing out. We focus on all the good. We exclaim all the wonderful favors of life lived in love. And I hope to hell that no one out there is following along and declaring “there must be something wrong with me I am not feeling the love”. Balderdash I say to anyone claiming the loving trail every moment of every day.

Now stumbling and feeling the anger instead of the love is normal. How about when we go for a moment down that old hate road? – Normal. How about when we just do not give a dang – Normal. And how about when we have been neglected and rejected and got no juice – Normal.

But hold on a second sometimes it is just a matter of internal chemistry. We just don’t feel the love, we are in the doldrums. Nothing wrong and things are right but we just can’t get that pizazz to love. Been there done that more often than I would care to admit.

Now here is something a little bit off the beat. Celebrate your doldrums. Love yourself enough to love when you got the doldrums. I am just a bit over that mid century mark, well quite a bit, and I have seen enough to know that we all get the doldrums. And so only a limited person would conclude anything but that doldrums are part of who each of us are. So I have a remedy. If you can really celebrate who you are then you can celebrate the normal parts of you along with the outstanding. (trouble here is when you have the doldrums you cannot even see the outstanding parts of you – later) Let me put is this way. I have a big old nose. That would seem to be a bad thing. Don’t ask about the broken noses that made it so large. But it is not a bad thing as I have a big head and high protruding cheek bones and a large chin. (don’t ask me why but it makes for beautiful children ;-) So you see, my big old nose fits my big head which fits my big body and if taken as a whole nothing is really out of place. You get that and now I got you.

Just say now.

Valleys in life

Not everyday is a mountain top experience.
Not everyday is a mountain top experience. | Source

Do a love check up.

Now back to that nose. If you took my nose off and placed it next to other people’s noses it would be too large. But it fits on my body. Now you take your doldrums and set them next to other people’s doldrums is it large or is it small or does it fit just right with your body? Does your soul have just the right amount of doldrums. Stagnation, depression or melancholy take your pick call them whatever you want. Did you know that water that is always excitedly flowing stirs up sediment and becomes murky? And water that is laying stagnant even though it settles gets filled with tiny life and becomes murky. But when the river of life has just enough stagnation and just enough current the water will become crystal clear and full of good nutrient. We must have periods of doldrums in order to settle the water and let the sediment settle to the bottom and time for new life to grow. The larger and more excited our river of life is we need more stagnation. There must be a balance.

Doldrums are a part of each person’s life. Doldrums are unavoidable. And here is a dichotomy of sorts. We can celebrate the doldrums. Oh I do not mean to throw a party. I mean to celebrate the time of quiet that we all need.

Think for a moment about a pain in the knee. Nobody likes pain. But pain is really just a signal to the brain that a certain body part is not functioning well. Nerve endings alight and send impulses to the brain to make it aware that something is amiss. Funny thing is we hate the pain. Hey do not shoot the messenger. The first thing that pain tells us is to rest that part of the body. If it persists then it is time to treat that part of the body. If it still persists it is time to let an expert help heal that part of the body. Pretty simple stuff that we all do.

So what happens if a message is sent to the brain and it results in doldrums? First we register that part of us that is sending the message. A little more complicated than our knee. Probably some unresolved emotional pain. In order to treat ourselves we basically need to locate that source of pain. Sometimes easier said than done. But hey we have the doldrums and nothing better to do.

I like to make it happen like this. I turn on the me love. And then I decipher where I am not feeling the love. That normally is the source of the message being sent to my brain resulting in doldrums. Let us stop here real quick. Some knee pain is systemic, and by that I mean something like arthritis. And for that you need some professional help and guidance. Some doldrums are systemic and for that you need some professional help and guidance. But we do not speak of that here. We speak of situational pain.

Let it be

Into every life there are sunsets.

We can dance at sunset or we may mourn the passing of a day.
We can dance at sunset or we may mourn the passing of a day. | Source

Love who you are.

So back to the concept of pain. Believe it or not I have been in the saddle long enough to celebrate pain. Yes I actually welcome it’s arrival. Because time and time again, pain leads me to find something wrong with my body that needs attention or it will get worse. Pain is now a warning system that I am grateful for. Easy I am not talking about chronic pain here. Although for my thick head I almost always need the pain to get to chronic before I do something significant about it. But our doldrums are more immediate than that because they affect us more drastically than physical pain.

So our doldrums are a kind of warning system telling us to slow down and go through whatever emotional upheaval we may need to face. Did you know that limping or favoring to alleviate pain is one of the worst things that you can do? Our bodies are made in a particular way. Adjusting how they work in order to avoid pain only makes the system break down. When you limp you use the wrong muscles in the wrong way. That is why physical therapy is so important after trauma. You have got to get back to normal function and not avoid using your body correctly to avoid pain.

And here we are again gently back to doldrums and our sometime inability to feel the love. Please tell your body and brain and soul – thank you from me. They are telling you something. Now all you have to do is listen. And remember this is a part of you as plain as the nose on your face. Embrace it and love yourself.

I love this churchy saying; “Peace be with you”. And so I say to you, let peace be with you even if you are dealing with the doldrums.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Such wonderful words Faith. Breathe in breathe out and relax. Cherish what is good, and in rest for a time ignore the rest. We are so blessed to have moments of peace. I reckon we should be glad for what brought them to us.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 16 months ago from southern USA

      Dear Eric,

      I'm sorry I missed this wonderful perspective somehow from you here on having the doldrums in life. I love your big nose analogy and the river analogy! Both are brilliant.

      I know the doldrums will come on me whenever I have allowed myself to overdo it and become so very tired and not getting enough rest. I become a bit cranky and then soon to follow, the doldrums. Getting enough rest is key for me.

      There is nothing better, as you so wisely state here, than to be okay with doing absolutely nothing. When I become weary, then I realize it is time for me to just be still. Boy, does that ever help the doldrums. The key is realizing this, again, as you so wisely state here.

      I realize, too, that I don't even recognize myself and my behaviors when I am so tired, and worse, neither do others. Even our sweet Lord God tells us that we are to come to Him whenever we are weary and it is okay to rest.

      Peace and blessings always,

      Theresa

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence I like your take it in stride view. Sometimes it just is and we just have accept that. Thank you for coming by and leaving a nice note.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 16 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      The 'doldrums' is an interesting place for me, it's a place I don't seem to hit often, but when I do I just try to 'coast' through doing what I last knew was right to do until I get 'revelation' as to what to do next.

      Great hub

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Frank. Your support is very much appreciated.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton

      What of the doldrums? Yeah Eric you have a way of putting the mind at ease.. still love these Sunday Sermons..:) bless you

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Shaloo, I hope you are able to make the best to the low times. Know that just by leaving your note you brightened my day.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Just when I was feeling so low, I read this beautiful hub. 'Love who you are'- Thanks for the reminder!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana I get ornery when I get in one of those moods. So I have taken to writing my darling nasty notes. She of course thinks they are hilarious. Knowing they are just a reflection of how I am feeling and not anything else. Therapeutic I suppose but they even make me laugh hours later. Sleep is awesome.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cris it is always good to hear from you. It is our Saturday here and we are having just a little too much fun. That will happen when you have a 6 year old boss. Be careful with that "real job" stuff it can be a real downer.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 16 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Yes, we are definitely emotional creatures. Sometimes I will feel tired and depressed for no reason at all. It will just come on me but thankfully never stay there. I have noticed that having a good nights sleep helps my mood tremendously.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 16 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Whatever is your source of energy, I can only tell that you have abundance in your pot, and you share them with us in all your Sunday Sermons.

      You always have a way to light up one's life through your words, nailing reality and the not so real. Sorry that I've been missing in action most of the time. Gotta do some real job, you know. :)

      Love from the sky~

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Devika you make good come to pass. I never feel a down moment while reading your hubs -- good for you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 16 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      It is part of life of what we experience each day the good or the not so good. You write to let us know we cans till go on with the important.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      That is so loving. Thank you much.

    • Kathryn L Hill profile image

      Kathryn L Hill 16 months ago from LA

      Dear Eric ,

      Thanks for the light you add to dimly flickering flames. :-D

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ain't life grand Denise? Even the stuff we don't like is there for a purpose. Oh sure we complain but we really are made perfect if we just relax and take things as they come. Wow was I grumpy this morning -- I have gotten over it but it sure made me grateful for feeling grateful again.

      Blessings and hugs to you my dear friend.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 16 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Yea, those doldrums are there, all right! They come when we least expect them. I like how you said that we need just the right amount to help us sift through what is happening in our life, and pick out what is most important. I know that is necessary, but it helps to hear it again from time to time!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Kathryn allow me to be presumptuous and a bit rude. By golly jingles you stay right where you are. That which you describe needs you. A light shines brightest in the darkest hour. Just bear down and make the difference in your children one kid at a time.

      You are resilient and I would bet that even in your doldrums you keep marching forward toward the good. What a blessing you are for the world.

      Thank you for sharing your situation with us. It is good for us to learn from you.

    • Kathryn L Hill profile image

      Kathryn L Hill 16 months ago from LA

      I am in the doldrums Eric. Luckily I read this hub where you remind us it is the psyche's way to chill for now. That it needs to chill. That is is good to chill. Let it chill until it warms up again.

      Its really hard not to react to injustice.

      I see it so often where I work with kids. Adults steal their happiness in so many ways. Their needlessly abrupt and tyrannical manner is becoming pervasive where I work. I think I shall change jobs.

      Anyway there are always reasons to slip into the doldrums and just as many to slip out again. We just have to go with it or get therapy if required.

      I loved this article … um, I mean Sunday Sermon. :)

      Thanks.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey Ed. Your poetry sometimes brings me down. I say hallelujah. I get the loss of fervency. I actually dwell there. You bring mankind closer to God. This is good.

      Our friendship means the world to me.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 16 months ago

      You are man so full of truths ! I am as proud to know you as I am eager to listen to you as a true leader ! Your sermons are always generous ! you do realize that do you not ? Keep on keepin on my man ! We so need you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora I like that. We have got to own our own doldrums and take personal responsibility. I will remember this next time I get them. Thanks

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 16 months ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, very helpful perspective you present here. I like the idea of doing a love check. Sometimes we may get stumped at the first feature--loving ourselves. Then we will realize our responsibility to take ourselves out of the doldrums.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Yahoo Ruby. Hey I needed some motivation to get going so I looked up this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U-rBZREQMw . that will put a spring in your step. Get Happy by Judy Garland

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda thank you for 'la dolce non fare ninete’. Brings me back to a time 4 decades ago where in a cafe' in Rome a wonderful young lady taught me how to sit still and watch the world go by. My job is just to sit back and enjoy.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby you are way upbeat. I sure the day will take care of you for you. Calling family and friends always lifts my spirits. That reminds me to call my sister -- in another country but just a phone call away. Thanks

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill thank you for that comment. It means a whole lot to me when there is even the smallest impact. Bev is very fortunate to have you by her side -- remind her of that!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I just got off the phone, talking with my sister Mary and I lost my doldrums, yea! I love Carb Diva's comment above because it's true. I'm going to ride my bike to the post office and love myself again...

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 16 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric - I love your analogy of river sediment. I think much of our doldrums comes from the chaotic lives we force ourselves into. We are connected and wired and uploaded 24/7. Even the microwave isn't fast enough anymore. We need to allow ourselves to have some down-time. Not sadness, but time to unwind, relax, take-five, and don't feel guilty about doing so. We weren't built to never take a moment for ourselves, to delight in what the Italians call 'la dolce non fare ninete’ (the sweetness of doing nothing).

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I'm happy to know everyone gets the doldrums, because I woke up with them this morning. It is raining AGAIN and I'm sick of it! I think I'll call my sister Mary who lives 50 miles away. That should make these doldrums take a hike, because we always, " I love you. " Thank you for being normal, nose and all. Hee...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There is a lot of truth here. Bev is going through the doldrums right now. A more positive person you've never met, so to see her down is, to me, a warning sign...and you hit her nail on the head with this beautifully crafted sermon. Right on, buddy!