Why is it that some days we wake up and everything just feels “off”? When I have a day like that, is it because I have created it in some way? Is there some worry, anger or frustration that has inserted itself in my subconscious (or more correctly, that I have inserted) and it is there poking at me like a splinter embedded beneath a fingernail that aches, throbs and eventually will result in infection unless I give it the attention that it requires? Or is it just how my serotonin is flowing that day or how the planets have aligned and no matter what I have done or haven’t done in order to create the day that I would like, it will just feel “off”? I ask these questions because frankly, I don’t like these kinds of days and I would like to develop my mind, body and spirit to the point that it never happens to me. Does the Dalai Lama ever have off days? Did Jesus or the Buddha? Mother Teresa? Ghandi? I would like to know that I am in good company.
An “off” day is not a day when the big tragedies or crises happen. It is not a day when my adrenalin or my pain motivates me to action or prayer or awareness. The “off” day is the day when I wake up with a little gnawing anxiety in my stomach. When the kids are grouchy, the dog wants my attention, I don’t have any clean underwear, the gas tank is empty and my cell phone is dead. And on the “off” day, all of those things seem unbearable, when on any other day, I would sail right past these small issues.
Who knows why these days come? It’s very likely that I will never figure it out. But, I guess that I believe that they come for a reason. These days must be there to teach me something. How much do I learn about myself and my behaviors when my kids are perfectly happy with me and each other, my body is at perfect ease, everybody seems to love me, and I meet a smiling face every where that I go? Well, I do learn how that feels if I pay attention and I do learn that that feeling will come again and that in all likelihood I didn’t do anything to create it. And on these other days, I learn how to keep living through what feels difficult and even unacceptable. I have to learn how to put others needs in front of what I feel, and how to keep my heart open and loving even when it feels that I don’t have a drop of goodness within me. I may not get to decide what every day feels like, but I do get to decide how I respond to what is.