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Storm the Fortress

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Storm the Fortress (It’s OK to have low days)

I’ve decided to change the familiar Amy Winehouse song ‘What is it about men’ to ‘What is it about women’. In fact what IS it about being a woman?

For women, known for being rather emotional has it’s plus points. With a gentle word we can disarm many a volatile situation. You also know when we are happy, sad, cross, tearful or relaxed. Or do you? Most of us hide our true emotions so well and only reveal how we are really feeling to our closest friends.

So why don’t we tell everyone the whole truth and nothing but the truth? I reckon we are afraid we won’t be liked, that people will feel sorry for us, never forget our weak moment and bring it up every time they see us – or maybe they just won’t understand.

Today was one of those days for me. I had no real reason to feel down, I just was! A fatal mistake on a day like this is to ask me how I am, as the response is usually floodgates of tears followed by them asking why.

Of late, my husband has learned NOT to ask why. Instead he refers to a thumbs up, middle or down, for me to identify how I am feeling. 

Being in my 40’s, I would like to point out that I have had a few seasons like this. Times when I cry every day – for no reason – the last being when some very close friends moved away, the time before that, the children were young: lack of sleep, lack of control and a lack of me time, led to many low days.

Bassai Dai

A few years ago I took up karate. I looked a little odd next to all the youngsters with bags of energy but I persisted and managed to get my black belt. 

What point am I making? There is a formal exercise Kata called Bassai Dai which means Storm the Fortress.  I mention this because it describes storming the fortress of our minds. Which is the state I think I am in right now. A battle where so many contrasting thoughts race through my mind – many of which are quite illogical.

Funnily enough, I may feel different tomorrow, which goes back to being a woman. How is it possible one day you can feel top of the world, full of energy, happy, bubbly, ready to take on the world – and the next day, you feel like you are at the bottom of a pit trying the climb out.

So how do we climb out of those pits?

A friend once said to me, it’s really important to look after your mind. When she went through a difficult patch she would lay down every afternoon. Soon every day became every other until now she has completely cut them out.

Finding comfort on those days will be different for every woman. A trip to a coffee shop, a cry on a friends shoulder, a quick text ‘Please pray for me today’, a hug or a lie down. Today, being a ‘pit’ day for me, I told someone I didn’t know well how I was feeling. Their response? ‘I feel exactly the same’. The thing is, what we feel, could in fact be more common than we realise.

I love this verse below. I don’t think God allows bad things to happen but I do believe that in our troubles he can in fact use us to comfort others who are also going through a tough time.

‘..he comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble, with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.’ 2 Corinthians 1 v 4

And so I leave you with this song – not all the words fit but the title says it all. If you are feeling like an emotional wreck – you are NOT alone! 

Clare Herriot

 

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