Yesterday morning, I wrote about love. And then, I had a day of “not love.”
What does that mean?
It means that no matter what happened throughout the day, I felt “bad” — off balance, out of sorts, negative, unloved, not loving, unlovable, not myself, uncomfortable, insecure, weird, eager for the day to be over, not good …. even though there was NO NEW REASON for all these feelings.
It’s true that a few things went wrong yesterday, starting with tuna noodle casserole exploding in the microwave:
Disconcerting, but I’ve survived worse. Much worse.
Then, there were the usual detours on my way to work …
… but those don’t usually bother me. At that point in the day, I was even able to enjoy the pink in that sign and the “not” in this sign:
But soon, my joy evaporated, and I cannot pinpoint why.
All day, it was unseasonably warm, with lots of leaves and other colors all around.
In my mind, I SHOULD have been feeling happy and good.
But, as I often tell people, there are NO shoulds when it comes to feelings and personal experience.
Maybe the turning point was my trying to photograph two escaped “Get Well” balloons trapped outside, out of reach, at a hospital.
I could never quite get them, the way I wanted.
And if I look into my past — searching for possible reasons for my latest Not Love day — I do remember feeling awful, when I was a kid, losing a balloon that floated away, out of reach. And, I do remember feeling AWFUL, when I was a kid, with or without balloons, in hospitals.
So maybe those were reasons, enough, for me to experience Not Love yesterday.
For the rest of the day, in my role as psychotherapist, I did hear lots of stories of other people experiencing Not Love.
And for the rest of the day, I did have thoughts that promoted feelings of Not Love, including:
- Will I be needing heart surgery at some point, sooner or later?
- Will the two toilets where we live ever work correctly?
- Am I being a good enough mother, girlfriend, co-worker, pet owner, sister, friend, etc. etc. etc. etc.?
- Am I returning everybody’s messages?
- Is everybody returning my messages?
- Will I be able to experience shorter, colder days around here without thinking about friggin’ DEATH, for a change?
As I’ve learned, over and over again, a Not Love day usually does NOT have to do with what’s going on externally, all around me. It has to do with my internal experience and filters of everything I’m encountering.
For example, when I go to my local work-place Starbucks on a Not Not Love Day, it’s usually positive “personal medicine” for me, because the people and the products are familiar and comforting. (I’ve written about Starbucks Personal Medicine several times, including here, here, and here.)
And yet, both of my visits to Starbucks yesterday did NOT cure my Not Love Day, despite my
- naming my experience to the people there and
- another, usually guaranteed, fool-proof antidote.
There’s a chocolate cookie in that bag, people, and even that didn’t help. Not only that, the message on the bag seemed SARCASTIC to me.
During my Not Love day, I heard this song, which I’m including here because (1) I like it and (2) the title fits.
When I’m feeling Not Love, it feels like (to quote that song) More Of The Same. More of the same.
It’s familiar. And it sucks.
During times of Not Love, it helps me to remember this:
(image found here)
(image found here)
While I was searching for images for “This Too Shall Past,” just now, something familiar came up, which I’ve loved very much, in the past:
OK (everybody) … Go!!!* (And thanks to all.)
* Speaking for myself, I’m going to call the plumber again.