Sarah May Bates
June 30, 2013 10:00 am

Knowing when it’s not you, it’s what’s around you…

Sometimes we go through periods of time when we’re more than uninspired. We feel like we’ve taken ourselves down a wrong path and now we’re stuck somewhere we don’t belong. “Was it choosing the wrong major in college? Maybe I should never have broken up with that person. Or maybe it’s just my lack of talent that got me here… Yeah, that must be it..”

Reasons for our crappy state always stem from so-called “truths” we see in ourselves. This mindset is usually accompanied by depression, loneliness and an overall poor opinion of what may come in the future ahead. I like to call it “The Funk.”  A dictionary definition for a case of The Funk might be: “A state of sadness or depression that causes you to attribute the feelings to your life/work/social failures, when in reality they are a result of overlapping external factors.” In other words, you just feel lame, unsuccessful, dumb, ugly, fill-in-the-blank adjective that is negative, and you think this is a result of you and your actions in life.

What you must realize is that this feeling is caused by not feeling like yourself. Maybe your house is messy, maybe your workplace is filled with people you don’t respect or relate to at all. Maybe you have recently encountered a nasty person who made you feel terrible. Maybe all of these happened in a row, this morning. Getting in a funk is caused by a negative environment and/or negative external factors that collaborate to create an altered world-view. To remedy it, you must get to a place that refreshes and reminds your awareness of who you are and your world. You must remove yourself from this situation and be around your people, your aesthetics, your tastes; in other words, find the baseline for reality.

The funk is caused by everything around you. Your conditions create and reinforce it. This includes your city, your room, what you are wearing today, the cloudiness of the sky, the graffiti on the wall next to your office that is lit terribly by the cloudiness of the sky, etc. All of these external factors tell you subconsciously that this is a reflection of who you are inside. Which, in bad cases makes you feel lost, depressed and like you don’t belong.  For example: Imagine you go to a beautiful beach and the weather is perfect. You might feel like life and the world is pretty good, and you can take on the future. Now compare that to, you moved to a new job where you don’t culturally relate to your coworkers, and it has been raining for weeks. You might think, “I am alone in this world, I have no friends, and I shouldn’t have broken up with my ex…” etc.

To get out of The Funk, get to a place or talk to someone that reminds you of who you really are, deep down in the fabric of your soul. Revert to an ingredient of your essence. Maybe that’s a very specific director in the horror film genre. Maybe it’s really good food. Maybe it’s meeting up with an old friend or group of friends who share the same childhood memories. Or maybe it’s just about heading to a museum that has a beautifully manicured garden and an elegant café that echo your tastes and sensibilities. Whatever it is, take the steps you need to remember “you,” again.

Once you get there, you will see things are much more okay than they seemed a few hours ago. Those overwhelming problems are not really so big at all. It’s like breathing fresh air when you didn’t realize you were coughing on dust. We all go through these times and we all can reach points where we feel alone and uninspired. The next time this feeling creeps across you and tries to slow you down, remember that it is nothing but perception. And that perception is easily undone.

Happy Sunday, lovely people. Hope it’s a great one! xox Sarah

Featured image via sostefunnie

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