Eric's Sunday Sermon; What of the Doldrums
Just a normal tree caught in the perfect light.
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
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.
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.