"Don't know if they know me or know I'm wearing a mask. A bunch of phony balogne, joking not knowing I'm sad."
We are a buffet of shifting thoughts and feelings so to identify with being only one type of person is a self defeating prophecy waiting to implode on itself. My depression made me feel like being a goofy kid is what caused me to collapse but it wasn't that at all. Being goofy feels great. It was denying that I'm also a serious kid, a sad kid, a smart kid, a foolish kid, a lying kid, an honest kid, an angry kid, a lazy kid, a disciplined kid, a lonely kid, a social kid, a chill kid, and a crazy kid with many feelings that are equally as real and unreal as the other.
To surrender and allow ourselves to shamelessly feel whatever we are is freedom. To reveal all of our humanity is vulnerability and that opens the doors to real power, joy, and connection. My wise friend Linda Stewart has a saying that goes "I yam what I yam" and its message to humans is - sometimes we're baked, boiled, stuffed, fried, raw, cooked, moldy, ripe, and ready for mashing. Whatever I yam is what you get. If you can't handle me when I'm raw then you sure don't deserve me when I'm baked. That last sentence is really fun to say in a stoner voice. Not advocating drugs here kids. But I'm not not advocating it either.
Young pre-educational-brain-farmed kids have boundless energy because they don't try so damn hard to be 1 identity they're convinced is the real 1. They're like "it's all just novelty happening and we pretend it means something. Let's play." They can shit their pants, fall over, cry, giggle, and dance away within a single minute because they just allow things to happen and don't attach themselves to only being a depressed poopy pants or a dancing giggle monster for their whole day, week, life. They are all of it and that's why we love them. They demonstrate what it means to be human. When an adult is riding a spontaneous wave of various emotions we assume they are being "crazy". I think we're all crazy and the ones expressing it just get the label. So my challenge for you is to go out to the nearest dance club and shit your pants shamelessly. Embrace your truth! Don't worry about people judging you, they don't understand freedom maaaan.
(Please don't... Or do.. email me your results. Get it on video if possible..)
The trick is acknowledging what we think and feel but while not needing to identify with it. This doesn't mean ignoring thoughts and feelings, it means facing them but not allowing them to define who you know yourself to be. This is super hard. Although kids allow themselves the freedom to feel different things they sometimes identify too hard with every passing emotion which is why they sometimes act like bipolar roller coasters. Kids are great but lets admit that sometimes they are annoying and psycho.
When I was sliding down the rabbit hole of depression I was extremely volatile. One moment I would be depressed and the next I would be manic because I was attaching too much with my thoughts and feelings. I still struggle with this a lot. The first time I opened for Dub FX with Lyka Fox in 2017 I felt sooo high getting off the stage and then 30 minutes later I felt like a piece of shit. On stage I let the high get to my head and started thinking "I feel the greatest therefor I am the greatest." Wrong. You're an average dude who feels many things, relax. Same applies to when I feel the worst. I'm not the worst, I'm just an average dude who feels many things, relax. I've gotten a lot better at managing performance highs but I also understand that it does effect my brain chemistry and if I feel a little off the next day, well, that's the trade off.
So here we are, once again caught in a paradox of trying to feel and acknowledge our feelings without identifying with them. We can learn from kids because they are free flowing beings but also learn that if we always behave like moody kids we will annoy the shit out of our adult friends. So WTF!? Repressing is not the answer.
We repress and neglect so many feelings throughout the day that these waves of energy get clogged in our body and create tension in our mind which blocks our soul from engaging with reality. What is our soul? I don't know, a word hippies use to sound magical?? Let's pretend it means the most real part of our being that wants to engage with truth and love as often as possible but has to pass through the filters of our mind and body to experience that. Imagine our soul is a free flowing current of energy moving through and around our body. Every time we repress our feelings we add a log to the dam that blocks our energy from moving freely. Unhealthy decisions are caused from our dam leaking or breaking without our awareness. Many religions, healing methods, and philosophies stem from yoga philosophy which says that different areas of our body hold different types of emotional energy. This is where the chakra system comes into play.
Is this chakra stuff real? In my experience, yes. I use tension in my body as a guide to check in with my belief systems. If I'm feeling funky pains or getting unexplainable inflammation I see that as an opportunity to check in with my headspace to see if I am creating the tension with unnecessary stress. Sometimes I am, and sometimes I just need to stretch, hydrate, and eat more veggies. Sometimes I need to go to the doctor. Sometimes they help and sometimes they give me antibiotics that don't work at all because the issue is being caused by chronic stress I've created in my head. This situation has happened on multiple occasions so now if I'm sick but also stressed I focus on taking care of the stress before relying on doctors to give me bandaids that don't fix the deeper issue. Often the deeper issue of stress can be healed through being honest with others about our struggle and taking action to move forward.
We all have parts of us we are ashamed of and by revealing those shadows we remove blockages. In my experience, revealing my shadows in talking circles, therapy sessions, reiki, writing, music, and performance has made a huge difference in me accepting more of myself. This blog is a huge expression of my weaknesses and sharing it helps me see the beauty in my suffering. Some of you will relate to my suffering and that will hopefully help you accept more of yourself. This exchange of personal truth has the ability to become medicine for everyone involved with it. Maybe.
Talking circles have been practiced in indigenous cultures for thousands of years for a reason. They allow each member of the tribe to speak truth, hear truth, and understand each other. We all just want to be understood and accepted. By revealing our deep, dark secrets in a compassionate space we begin to see that our secrets aren't dark at all, they are human. We are all afraid and imperfect. Having a support system that loves you unconditionally and gives you an opportunity to love others unconditionally is the most healing phenomena I've ever experienced.
Maybe you don't have any friends and family you feel comfortable sharing your pain with. That's normal. Find a therapist or a talking circle. Write a poem and read it out loud. Write a song and blast it through a mic. Write some jokes about it and hit the open mic comedy night. Reveal your shadows and watch them transform into your super power. Life is suffering so we might as well embrace it.
Continue reading the Mental Breakdown series.
All of the art on this page is by Skye Dreamer. Check out more of his creations!