We’re not robots; we’re humans.
Last week was a great week for me, work-wise.
It was a week of long days working on a big vision with great people. The week wrapped up on Friday morning, and I went to see my hairstylist Ebonee to get my hair done. While sitting in Ebonee’s chair in what should have been a moment of gratitude and relaxation, I felt sadness.
I could not make sense of it.
I reached out to a friend to chat about it, and that helped me feel connected, but it didn’t make sense of the feeling.
I went home after the hair appointment, went out to get some food from Sunflower Cafe, and went back home where I chatted with a friend of the family who was staying with us for the weekend.
After she left to meet some friends, I watched some TV, and then I went to sleep.
The next day, I felt a little better. And I had better words for how I felt. I felt unsupported.
Of course, it’s not true. It’s just how I felt.
For the rest of Saturday, I ran errands, skipped workouts, bought myself some overpriced lattes, and went to the Nashville Soccer Club match with a friend and had a great conversation.
By the end of the night, I felt much better. A 3-0 win for our club didn’t hurt.
I woke up late on Sunday, cleaned up email and expenses, went for a three-mile run, lifted weights, and meditated. While running in the neighborhood, someone pulled up next to me, rolled down their window, and said: “do you write the Grind?” I nodded, they through up a fist, and so did I.
Now I feel great.
Was I somehow much more supported just two days later than I was on Friday when I was feeling pretty low?
Is something wrong with me that after such a great work week, I would end it with self-centered, inaccurate feelings of pity?
As best I can tell, I felt that way because I was tired and unbalanced. Perhaps something inside of me felt down because I had barely found time over the last few weeks to rest and decompress. The truth is, I don’t really know.
These days when sad feelings arise, they are particularly intriguing to me because I’m not amplifying or sparking them with alcohol. When these feelings show up, like anyone, I’m susceptible to some of my most irrational thoughts and behaviors. I’m learning that it’s essential for me to make decisions and not judgments in those moments.
If I start judging myself, I’m heading down the rabbit hole. There is nothing admirable or attractive about feeling bad for oneself after a super successful week of business development that most people would be thrilled to have. But it is entirely human.
Rather than judging myself, I needed to make decisions to put myself in a space to get to the bottom of the feeling. Reaching out to a friend, opting out of several weekend social situations, and giving myself a rest were just decisions that I needed to make to honor my feelings.
I also needed to accept that I’d think and say some stupid things while feeling sad because feelings can make one do that. There’s no need to judge myself for it; it’s just human.
Now that I’m out of that funk, I’m back in a space of gratitude. But for 48 hours, there were plenty of opportunities to make a mess of things. Emotions speak physiological volumes to us, much louder than rationale. Only practice in observing them can help us make the critical decisions that can pull us out of their grip, and help us to understand what they are really telling us.
We’re not robots; we’re humans. It’s ok that how we feel doesn’t make sense all the time, but we do need to avoid the trap of getting swept away by our emotions. Disengaging the impulse our feelings trigger to judge ourselves is key to staying ashore.
Have a grateful day.
PS: if that was you in Wedgewood Houston on Sunday late morning, send me a note man. Meant a lot to hear from you.