It's rainy season now and though I love the coolness it brings, the dull, flat skies are hard to live with.
I've always felt this way when the heavens are full of sagging clouds.
My young years living through Michigan winters, my college years living through Tennessee springs, and my adult years living through Ghana rainy seasons all feel about the same.
I know myself, and I know that the majority of the dreariness stems from the lack of sunshine.
Been that way all my life.
What usually catches me off-guard though, is how quickly I can sink into a slough of despond.
Life can be moving cheerily along, then WHAM!
Three days in a row of rain and overcast skies, and my spirits sink low, feeling a bit like the lone sock that fell out of the laundry basket and spent the night in a puddle.
Sure, all of us have days where we don't feel particularly happy.
There are certainly times when long bouts of depression can signal something bigger lurking beneath the surface, too.
But most often for me, I find the danger lies in ignoring these feelings.
When I don't make an effort to guide my mind to what is true, the pressure slowly grows.
I let my emotions take over.
I stop interacting with others as much.
I can turn my thoughts inward, dwelling in selfishness.
I slog through my days, moving from one duty to the next.
Soon I feel sad, withdrawn, muddy in mind and heart.
As drops fall, my eyes open to the cloud I'm under.
I then have a choice to make: stay right where I'm at and risk drowning or move to higher ground.
No, I don't try to work up false happy feelings, but I can choose to do something I need to do.
I can think Truth.
I can count thanks.
I can choose hope.
I can ask for help.
I can give love.
None of these things stop the drops from falling, but they give me steps to climb,
safe places to grab on to, and sure footing out of the pit.
They give me a way out of the drizzly fog, and onto the heights.
As I make the choice to climb, the feelings slowly fade.
Each step I take gets me closer to the top, and when the sun does poke through the clouds, I'll be there waiting.