Jolene Navarro, here. Good Monday morning. I’m checking in from the Texas Hill Country.
Do you ever get a heavy heart and just can’t shake it? I hate it when that happens and my first response is to push past it. Try and ignore it.
One reason I love writing romance is I get to create a world where wrongs are made right. People get the happy ending they deserve. But if I fall into a funk it can be hard to writing.
Real life doesn’t always seem fair. As an introvert (people who know me don’t believe I’m not an extrovert) I could easily withdraw and wallow in my sadness. This will quickly take any joy out of the things I love… my family, writing, teaching art. I’ll lose my motivation to get up and move. Even my diet will suffer.
But my mother taught me some great lessons.
When I was little any change would set me off into a moody mess. Something as simple as the teacher rearranging the seating chart would have me crying. “Too sensitive” is what some people might call me.
Every time we had a change like moving (six times in my childhood) my mother would give me a limited time to be upset. Depending on the size of the trauma is the time it is allowed. Someone rearranging my space is small, the end of a relationship is bigger, the death of a loved one takes more time. There is no one right answer for everyone. You have to know what you need and give yourself that time.
Jesus took the time to feel the emotions. Anger, sadness and grief were all a part of his journey.
My mother told me to feel sad, angry or whatever sensation it was and to embrace it. Feel it. Take the time to inhale and breathe it in. Hold it. Then exhale and send it out and far away.
It’s harder than it sounds, but with practice, you get better. Instead of holding back or forcing it down, it’s okay to take the sadness, grief or anger and truly embrace it. But the most important part is letting it go through your heart, mind and body. Then let it pass and dissolve into the clouds or hills. Maybe you want to release into the depth of a calm ocean.
The more these steps are done, the easier it is to let go. Characters that have a hard time letting go is a reoccurring theme in my stories. So this might I’m still working on. LOL
I lost my mom suddenly in 2006, but her words and lessons stay with me. I didn’t start writing until after her death, and if you read any of my books, you’ll see my mom’s influence all over the pages.
Writing has become another strategy for me. I will also find a special Bible verse that speaks to me and meditate on it.
Do you have strategies and techniques to get through a funk?
Hi Jolene, I LOVE your mum’s advice! I am going to use this with my kids, my oldest son especially!! For me- deliberately listing the positives and many blessings from God, then praying and focusing on what God has and is doing- that reminds me that God is in control, not me, when I am down.
Remembering that God has us is a great comfort.
Hi Jolene! Thanks for sharing your mom’s advice, especially about how long to stay in a funk. Gloomy cold winter days often put me in a funk. Sunshine, laughter of children, music, flowers, and encouraging help me out of a funk. Best wishes and happy writing.
We get so much sunshine in Texas a cloudy grey day can be a treat. LOL. Thank you for stopping by
Amy J says
Lovely advice, thanks for sharing it.
The sending it away part being the part to practice, I suspect.
Hi Amy. LOL. Yes that is the hard part. Plus I tried to not show emotion. I wanted to be “tough”. I had to learn it was okay to feel the emotion…like you said you have to send it away. :)
Elizabeth Maddrey says
I love the permission to feel what you feel — it’s good to validate where you are.
I will say, as one who has struggled with clinical depression for years, that if you get to a place where you can’t push it away or pray it away or jolly yourself out of a funk – IT IS OKAY TO GET HELP.
I think Christians get trapped by the lie that depression (or a funk) is a sin, so we figure we should be able to pray our way out of it. But can be a disease just like any other, and while yes pray for healing! Seek medical help, too.
That is so true. As a teacher sometimes I will hear adults talk about just get over it. But if there child was diabetic would you not seek medical help? Here, I’m not talking about clinical depression. If you can’t “shake” after giving yourself some time…you need outside help. Thank you so much for sharing.
That is such sage advice. I totally understand what you mean about being sensitive; I’m the same way and have had to learn to be okay with how God made me. There are great benefits to feeling so much (like being able to get inside characters’ heads!). On the flip side, I also find I need to give myself more time and space to process emotions and practice self-care when I feel overwhelmed. This site has been very helpful for me: http://hsperson.com/
What a great post. Thank you for sharing.
Shannon Taylor Vannatter says
Sounds like your mom was full of wisdom, Jolene. I’m missing the hill country. We didn’t get to visit our TX family last year, but we’re planning a trip this summer. Writing helps me work through things too. If something’s weighing me down or hard to swallow, I write about it and it helps me work through it.
What a great post. Thank you for sharing.
Something weird is going on. I replied to Liwen and it showed up here too. If you are close to Boerne you should drop me a message. It would be great to meet another LI author. You can make it a work trip and we could set up a book signing. :)
I have many days of funk and I find out that drawing closer to God helps relieve the feeling. My family and therapist are also big influence in speaking inspirations to me. I find myself being able to let go or laugh about things that would have normally throw me over the edge. Thank God for putting people in my life that do not judge but help me to become a better person.
Colleen, I’m so grateful for the people in our lives. A wise person knows when to ask for help. Blessings
Julianne Archer says
Your Mom was a wise woman. Thanks for sharing her advice. I did the Fervant bible study about a year ago and have some notes on my wall for when I get a curve ball. I’ll also delve into a study or write out a book of the Bible to change my focus.
I’m also blessed with sisters in Christ who are supportive and loving and available when I need them.
Thanks for the beautiful picture from your back porch! What a great way to start the day.
Jolene Navarro says
Thank you Julianne. Having sisters in Christ is a true blessing. :)
Being surrounded by godly friends and His Word.
Jolene Navarro says
That’s the best. :)
Pat Moore says
Enjoyed reading your Mom’s advice. My grandmother taught me to always keep God first, count my blessings and never say anything against or bad about another. I also learned to always look for the humor in any situation – it helps to keep things positive.
God first is a very smart way to go through life. And humor just makes us better people and life easier. Thanks for stopping by