It’s Okay To Rock A Bad Mood…

I haven’t checked in for a while… mainly because I’ve been pretty busy.  Work busy, volunteer busy, life busy.  I am convinced it’s been taking its toll on me.  More and more I’ve been finding myself in a bad mood. Like really bad.  The kind of bad where bad can happen and while I am aware it’s not good to always be rockin this type of mood, I had to stop and wonder if… It’s Okay To Rock A Bad Mood?

It’s this thing and I’ve been feeling stuck, on the island of Liz, where no one can quite get their head around what it’s like to live a day in the life.  The biggest driver I suspect is feeling unsupported. Like physically supported.  Now — before you jump off of the deep end, and some would, nothing is on fire, and nothing is at critical mass in this moment.  But often I can’t help but to wonder what it might feel like to have someone say, “Let me take that burden from you.”  now mind you, I don’t know if anyone I know speaks in just that tone, but I find myself daydreaming they would.*

Back to the bad mood thing… 

Being in the place where I don’t know if I can do one more thing in this moment — I took a pause and let Google help me out.  And… it turns out, there are benefits to being in a bad mood.  So let me share while I consider the exit options from this mood place.

My thanks to Joseph Paul Forgas and TheConversation.com

What is the point of sadness?

Psychologists who study how our feelings and behaviours have evolved over time maintain all our affective states (such as moods and emotions) have a useful role: they alert us to states of the world we need to respond to.

In fact, the range of human emotions includes many more negative than positive feelings. Negative emotions such as fear, anger, shame or disgust are helpful because they help us recognise, avoid and overcome threatening or dangerous situations.

But what is the point of sadness, perhaps the most common negative emotion, and one most practising psychologists deal with?

Intense and enduring sadness, such as depression, is obviously a serious and debilitating disorder. However, mild, temporary bad moods may serve an important and useful adaptive purpose, by helping us to cope with everyday challenges and difficult situations.

These moods also act as a social signal that communicates disengagement and withdrawal from competition and provides a protective cover. When we appear sad or in a bad mood, people often are concerned and are inclined to help.

 

When we’re sad, other people show concern and want to help. Joshua Clay/Unsplash 

Some negative moods, such as melancholia and nostalgia (a longing for the past), may even be pleasant and seem to provide useful information to guide future plans and motivation.

Sadness can also enhance empathy, compassion, connectedness and moral and aesthetic sensibility. And sadness has long been a trigger for artistic creativity.

Recent scientific experiments document the benefits of mild bad moods. These often work as automatic, unconscious alarm signals, promoting a more attentive and detailed thinking style. In other words, bad moods help us to be more attentive and focused in difficult situations.

In contrast, a positive mood (like feeling happy) typically serves as a signal indicating familiar and safe situations and results in a less detailed and attentive processing style.

Psychological benefits of sadness

There is now growing evidence that negative moods, like sadness, have psychological benefits.

Feeling sad or in a bad mood produces a number of benefits:

  • better memory: in one study, a bad mood (caused by bad weather) resulted in people better remembering the details of a shop they just left. Bad mood can also improve eyewitness memories by reducing the effects of various distractions, such as irrelevant, false or misleading information.
  • more accurate judgements: a mild bad mood also reduces some biases and distortions in how people form impressions. For instance, slightly sad judges formed more accurate and reliable impressions about others because they processed details more effectively. We found that bad moods also reduced gullibility and increased scepticism when evaluating urban myths and rumours, and even improved people’s ability to detect deception more accurately. People in a mild bad mood are also less likely to rely on simplistic stereotypes.
  • motivation: other experiments found that when happy and sad participants were asked to perform a difficult mental task, those in a bad mood tried harder and persevered more. They spent more time on the task, attempted more questions and produced more correct answers.
  • better communication: the more attentive and detailed thinking style promoted by a bad mood can also improve communication. We found people in a sad mood used more effective persuasive arguments to convince others, were better at understanding ambiguous sentences and communicated better when talking.
  • increased fairness: other experiments found that a mild bad mood caused people to pay greater attention to social expectations and norms, and they treated others less selfishly and more fairly

Now then… don’t we all feel better?

The truth. No.  I don’t.  But I am in a place where I can let the bad mood be, take advantage of how it impacts my world and allows me to be a better communicator, decision maker, persevere “er” and owner of my feelings.

And in the end, somehow, it all ties back to grace and allowing myself the space to be okay with being in a bad mood, feeling stranded on the isle of Liz (even though it’s likely not truth). And… to the “*”, it just so happens that someone DOES speak to me that way.  God does…  thanks Amazingfacts.org

1. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). God is glad to carry MY burdens and give me the daily strength I need.

2. “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6). It’s not God’s will that I should be crushed down with excessive burdens; let Him free ME today.

3. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30). Jesus will remove MY heavy burden of guilt and hopelessness and give ME true rest in Him.

4. “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’” (Isaiah 41:13). God promises to support and help ME through every trial.

5. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:67). Just knowing MY heavenly Father cares about ME personally can make any load seem lighter.

6. “Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you” (Isaiah 46:4). The Lord desires to constantly support ME throughout MY life, with the intention of saving ME eternally.

7. “He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom” (Isaiah 40:11). The Good Shepherd will gladly bear ME in His gentle arms right now.

8. “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). If I belong to Him, God will always listen when I call to Him for help.

9. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). Through faith His strength becomes MINE, and He reaches out to keep ME from falling.

10. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). When God has lightened MY burdens, He asks ME to do the same for YOU.

And just like that… the load is lighter.

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Love notes…from HIM.

I get daily love notes…from HIM.

It’s not Eric, and nor are they from Daniel.  Heck, they’re not from my Dad either.  And yet somehow, they tend to be just what I need to hear, right when I need to hear it.

I signed up with TUT to receive my daily notes from the Universe — I look at the “Universe” as notes from HIM.  Maybe there are others who have a difficult time accepting all that they are — is through divine creation and there is a maker and we are cast in HIS image.  Yet, they believe in something, and maybe that is by HIS design too.

Anyway… I just wanted to share today’s love note as it could not be more timely and apropos (my favorite word EVER), with thanks to Mrs. Chopyak and 11th grade Honors English.  And because this is the love note for today — I know HE is the Great I AM.

You’re simply the best, Liz . You blow my mind. We’re all in total awe. How you hold together under pressure. How you face up to your challenges. And your rebound ability totally rocks. You’re driven, persistent, and strong. Playful, silly, fun. Compassionate, sympathetic, understanding. You’re just plain unstoppable. And you always have time for others. What a package. Soooo…

How ’bout cutting yourself some slack every now and then?

Tallyho,
GOD.  (The Universe)

Enjoy today…

Love notes…from Him

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To My Gal Pal…

A note to my gal pal… Thank you.

To my gal pal who had lunch with me today, thank you.  To the one that sent me that great text message yesterday, making me feel so on point with my job — thank you.

To the one who had lunch with me yesterday… and listened and related to ME thank you.

To the gal pal who told me to go to the doctor (for weeks now…) to get treatment for my sinus infection, thank you.

To the gal pal that called to see if wanted coffee this morning… thank you.  Of course, I did, but the pain in my ears was just too much!

To the gal pal that sent me an email earlier this week, to honor a commitment and to touch base… thank you, and while I am at it, I’m sorry, I think, no, I know, I was rough and bitchy.

To the gal pals working with me on the Legends Dinner, thank you, just knowing you’re on the team makes one more step easier to take!

To the gal pal… that I still consider my very best friend, more than thirty years later, and though we’re not as connected as we were as teenage girls (and I wish we were), thank you and can we have dinner soon???  I miss your friendship, perhaps the most.

To the gal pal I mentor.  Thank you for letting me be a part of YOUR life, it is truly a beautiful gift to be able to be with you, to watch you become the sort of woman anyone would love to have in her corner.gal-pals-3

Truth.

I have these gal pals, and literally there are hundreds of YOU, thank you all, you all have space in my heart and have done so much to help me to be the kind of person that deserves your friendship.  You see at lunch today, I really realized, how often we have spilled milk situations in our lives, the ones that no matter how much you wish you could put it back together, you just can’t. But… what I CAN do, is to remember to lean on you, my gal pals… to pull me through.

And to my gal pal… the one that said, “Liz be gentle with yourself…” thank you, those words have carried me often over the past few weeks.

 

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Average Joes… or are they?

I’ve been doing some work on myself.  It started in earnest after my trust fall earlier this year. And it’s part of my OLW — GraceGrace includes giving myself permission and space to be selfish and do things for me that help me.  Sounds simple right?  Yet, I am alarmed by just how many of us really don’t practice this art.

I’ve been going to MY “Average Joe’s.”  If you’ve seen Dodgeball then you are no doubt aware of the monstrosity that is Globogym — run by appearance driven and seriously shallow White Goodman (played by Ben Stiller) and of course there is Average Joes, run by the affable Peter La Fleur (played by Vince Vaughn).

I train at Easton.  Easton is an MMA/BJJ/Kickboxing gym here in Denver, CO.  When I started, I was seriously apprehensive.  These guys are martial artists.  They eat nails for breakfast and they can drop me to the floor with a stare. And… that’s just the men that train there.  Don’t get me started on the kids and women that train there.

I was afraid.

Afraid of the stares and the judgement, the hushed conversations wondering why someone like ME is somewhere like there. I was afraid of simply not being fit enough to participate. On ANY level.

Truth. 

None of that is true. Well… except the nail eating and the ability to drop me to the floor with a stare.

What I found is a community of people who are all walking their walk, fighting their fight, and being a constant support to the other “average joes” training at Easton.   And nothing like the experiences I’ve had at other gyms (and I won’t name them here….)  These people all of them, from coaches to members are among the nicest I’ve met.

So cheers… Peter, Jeff, George, Gwen, Garin, Sean, Tyler…. thank you for being anything but Average Joes! http://www.eastonbjj.com

 

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On Disappointment…

There are things in the world, well, that you can just count on.  The sun will likely rise tomorrow, you’ll pay taxes, you’ll have a million amazing moments in your life, and, you’ll face disappointment.

I’ve recently ended a relationship.

It was a volunteer opportunity and it along the way has provided me with many beautiful things. I was given the space to learn more about myself, people around me and perhaps the human condition in general.  It also taught me the world is an imperfect place. Of course, I know this to be true.  That said, when disappointment happens where AND when you don’t expect it… there is a stronger than usual sting associated with it.MLK disappointment

It’s not the dull “oh this again” type of pain you feel when that one person let you down again.  The pain you’re familiar with because you’ve felt it before and it’s likely you’ll feel it again.  No this pain is different.  It’s a sting and pain that cuts to the core and you’re just certain you’ll never hurt as much ever again.

Truth.

I am having a tough tough time with this break-up.  I overall believe in the mission, I love  most of the humans I’ve been connected with. I think, that’s why it just hurts so much. It was just the sort of sucker punch I never expected.

More truth.

My heart will heal, and my disappointment while painful will dissipate and ache less in the coming days.  And I have learned another set of valuable life lessons to carry with me as I travel my road.  I will choose to continue to support causes and missions I believe in, knowing there can be or is risk involved.  Disappointment can and may strike at anytime, and I am strong in heart, convicted in faith and committed to NOT letting disappointment change me in ways that don’t represent the person I know myself to be.

How about seeing life’s disappointments as God’s appointments and as being according to His purposes? Take the psalmist’s advice and “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:20). If you insist on carrying around your own burdens and disappointments, it will be a heavy load indeed and you’ll have to carry around with you the weight of the world and that’s going to be difficult since we were never created to carry such loads. This is exactly why Jesus commands us all to “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30).

Thank you to Jack Wellman from Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane, KS and patheos.com  for the reminder.

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Fe Anniversary…

Six years.  Today, Eric and I have been married for 2,191 and 1/2 days.  Six years. 52,596 hours.  3,155,760 minutes and that all boils down to 189,345,600 seconds. When you think of it in terms of years or days it seems almost not worth noting.  We spend more time pursuing elementary and high school education.sandy-at-wedding

On a more micro level, getting down to seconds, it changes and becomes so much larger than you’d think. One Hundred Eighty-Nine Million Three Hundred Forty-Five Thousand, Six Hundred seconds.  It’s a mouthful.

We’re spending this weekend in Danville, Illinois, home of Dick and Jerry Van Dyke, Gene Hackman, and my sister and her family.  Her son Nick is graduating this weekend and we’re here to help celebrate his amazing accomplishment.

Much like our 189,345,600 seconds, this long weekend isn’t perfect.  I’ve managed to come down with some allergic or summer cold malady, and there is plenty of on-the-fly changes to suit just about anyone.

But — it’s like that with marriage too.  We have good days and not so good days.  We have bad days and worse days.  And of course we have those magical days that really leave us aware of just how blessed our lives are.  And they are.

So cheers to Eric… and to me as we celebrate our Iron Anniversary, and like iron that is wrought into beautiful fences and works of art — so to is our marriage….

#forageon #wroughton #sixmoreyears #mykeeper

The Virtues, in despair, quit the earth; and the depravity of man becomes universal and complete. Hard steel succeeded then.

— Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book I, Iron age, line 160 ff
Iron when mixed with impurity becomes stronger… a marriage mixed with time… becomes stronger.
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Everyone…has ONE.

Getting up at 5:20 in the morning is getting easier. 

Kickboxing — done.  I am waiting for my 9:00 a.m. so thought I’d take a quick minute to share an observation from the gym today.  While getting ready for work, I caught some of a conversation from a couple of friends…

It went something like this… “George was really able to help me with some breathing exercises and just reminding me to not be so hard on myself…” And that’s where I stopped. Dead. In. Tracks.  And realized…. Everyone has ONE. For much longer than I’ve realized, I thought alone on the isle of Liz lived the mean girl.  And surely, she is so exclusively mine. Imagined myself alone in the wallow of insecurity, not being good enough, smart enough, lovable enough. Today I learned it’s not just me. chaos

If I am being honest, I’ll tell you I found this, in some way, comforting and filled me with a sense of relief.  It’s not just me who has this perpetual incessant chatter in the head, filling me with things that are just not helpful.  I also found myself a little disappointed.  How can I find comfort in knowing that another woman out there — maybe a million other women, are having and sharing this same struggle?

Our get ready for work preparations continued, realizing some of us have the mean girl desperately needing to be put in to check, and maybe some of us have an inner mean girl just waiting to help us — set boundaries, say NO, put us FIRST, be unapologetic about who we are and where we fit in the world.  I watched one of my classmates this morning and could see in her, the very same things I see in me — and so casually I mentioned… YOU look lovely, try, though I know it’s hard, not to obsess about how your dress fits, what your hair looks like — if a full face of cosmetics if overwhelming, try just a dab of gloss or simply own your beautiful face, just as you are!

The work on the internal chatter continues… and while we’re talking about the internal chatter… have you ever noticed that it just doesn’t SHUT UP? — Courtesy of my book… and thanks Peter.  The inner voice keeps going, simply to be heard — some crazy notion that some crazy voice talking to you — in your head has the need to be heard, but not the right.  Turn it off!

Tomorrow we start again.  6:30. Sharp.

Quiet the mind… slow the chatter, turn down the volume and do YOU!33-verses-about-fear-and-anxiety-5-640x640

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