Contrary to my usual way of being, I’ve had 2 or 3 days lately where I was off my game. Depressed. Abundant with negative thinking. Shitty days, more or less. Unusual to say the least…and that’s what made me stop and think.
I used to have a depressed or at least dysthymic (lightly depressed) mood more often than not. It was one of those things that was so normal to my existence that I didn’t even recognize it as being less than optimal. I just thought that’s how it felt to be walk the earth.
During that time I did spiritual work and therapy work. Most recently in the past 10 years it’s been Zen meditation practice. What has happened is that I got better in spite of myself. I built up a critical mass of equanimity that surreptitiously leveled out my mood and general outlook. I’ve been able to flip the script and become balanced enough during my daily life and I didn’t even notice it.
Until a shitty day arrived.
By contrast I was able to see how far I had come. The crappy, depressed, dark mood was no longer normal. In fact, had been go so long as to become unrecognizable in myself. It felt weird. It felt alien. And then it occurred to me it’s because it had been gone for so long. I had elevated myself out of the morass of negative thinking and the anxieties that go with it. The soul sucking mental state had been drained of it’s black energy.
So I have to praise those shitty days and even welcome them back from time to time as benchmarks of progress into a more balanced and joyful existence.