For almost as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a little sad. I carry it around like a comfort blanket. A certain level of sadness that protects me from the possibility of deeper pain. If I don’t expect too much, if I don’t allow a fullness of happiness then I can’t experience the crushing lows of depression. When I look deeper, that seems to be the reasoning behind this protective part of me.
But I decided to advocate for myself these last few years. To finally let go of those limiting beliefs I have about myself that stop me from allowing myself to truly enjoy my life with unadulterated joy, unafraid to follow my bliss. It’s been interesting, and not exactly bump-free. In a bid for freedom, which is one of my highest life values, I’ve experienced great highs and great lows. So, I keep wrapping myself in my lovely, snuggly, sadness blanket. It’s my comfort zone, my default setting and sometimes that just feels easier. A familiar moment of relief. But you can never truly go back, can you? And each step forward through the pain is expansion.
My name is Deirdre, an old Irish name complete with a tragic love story, ‘Deirdre of the Sorrows’. So that’s part of my story now too and one I heard a lot as I grew up! To add a little extra oomph to my story I was born on a Wednesday and, as we all know, Wednesday’s child is full of woe. But we don’t have to be our old stories. I’ve been dragging this belief that I am, at my core, a ‘sad’ person around for years, like a lodestone around my neck. Waking up sad. Feeling bouts of sadness throughout the day. At its worst, skirting depression and almost welcoming it, like a toxic lover, to my bed.
But in these last few years, I’ve discovered that I can reset my emotional thermostat. I can experience happiness without any lingering wisps of sadness. I can experience moments of joy and connection. And it feels so good to me in the moment that I know I can shrug off my dusty old story of ‘sad Dee’, and alchemise, transmute, and pour that powerful well of energy that has been keeping that lodestone stuck in place, back into my life in positive ways. That, to me, is freedom. And while I’m still a work in progress and I may sometimes welcome sadness in, an old friend come to sit by my campfire from time to time, I am experiencing longer spaces in between. More moments where I feel unconstrained and free. More light in the dark.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet? I’ll keep my name. It’s part of my story now, but not one I read every day anymore. That’s the power of emotional alchemy.
First published in Luminous Wisdom: SOPHIA September 2019