The Pit of Despair
Have you ever found yourself in an emotional funk? When everyone and everything pissed you off? I’ve been there, so I know it feels. It’s when you can only see life from the “glass half empty” perspective… or more likely, from an empty glass. Unsure of who you are, there’s one thing for certain – you are definitely not you. Instead, the real you sits in the upper corner of the room, looking down at this person who appears to be you but is behaving in an undesirable fashion. Yet the reality is that you are not separate from that being. No, it’s you, just you in the “Pit of Despair,” vibrating at the low end of the spectrum, unaware of your inner beauty, power and strength.
Maybe you’ve seen one of my favorite movies – The Princess Bride. In a pivotal scene Prince Humperdinck captures Westley and Buttercup outside of the Fire Swamp. Wanting Buttercup as his bride, Humperdinck takes Westley out of the picture by imprisoning him in the Pit of Despair – a hidden room accessed through a fake tree trunk. And once you’re in “The Pit,” there no chance of getting out, it’s only pure pain till the end.
The good news is that my Pit of Despair is unlike this underground torture chamber. No, my Pit is internal. And, your stay there is not till your demise. You choose when you leave.
I visited “The Pit” last week. No doubt something triggered me, propelling me on a downward spiral. On top of a particularly challenging week filled with “life lessons,” “Bad Ass Bella,” our four-year-old Shih-Poo, was not behaving, one additional spark that put me over the edge, into my Pit.
But after a day or two of feeling frustrated, angry, and hurt, I had to find a way out. I knew there were multiple ways to escape and that I was the only person who could free myself. But was I willing to take a step back and ask what put me in the Pit? Could I truly identify the triggers?
Believe me, this was not an easy task. Doing so forced me to look at my shadows, those things we all prefer to keep behind us, in the dark. But it is only when we shine the light on those shadows that these fears no longer have power over us. And that is what I needed to do to surface from my “Pit of Despair.”
Now I won’t bore you with what I discovered. (While I’m comfortable bearing my soul in my blogs, there are some things I prefer to keep private.) Let’s just say it was a familiar theme, one I’ve been working on. It just showed up in a new way. Funny how we think we have things figured out, but then the Universe decides to throw us a curve ball to make sure that we really learned our lesson.
Identifying what caused my plunge into the Pit is the first step. But then I had to allow myself to experience the attached feelings. Emotions are tricky – if we ignore them, they can become bottled up, hidden, only to surface again at the most inconvenient times.
Tears are often the best way to release emotions – and so is honest discussion. Yet, one of my most effective methods has always been running. So that is what I did. I cried, I talked, and then went for a run.
That morning while running toward the river trail, I noticed how light and buoyant I felt navigating the steep downhill slope to the loop that parallels the Deschutes River. Lost in the music streaming through my phone, I didn’t even acknowledge this fast-paced decline. However, toward the end of my run - after I’d crossed the footbridge and was making my way back to this hill - well that’s when the hill became a mountain. Going up that hill required a ton of self-talk to keep me from stopping, forcing me to dig deep.
This made me think – could I find any parallels between climbing out of my Pit and scaling that steep incline? After all, both were incredibly challenging uphill battles.
That’s when it hit me – the hill didn’t change, I did. After all it was the same trail on the same hill with the same trees and the same rocks. What was different is how I was seeing it. When I looked down this trail, running was effortless, my legs turnover naturally, and my spirit was light. Yet when I gazed up this mountainous elevation, my breathing as well as my legs instantly became heavy, and I automatically shifted into exertion mode, laboring to get up that hill.
So how was this similar to my vibrational drop? My life – like the hill – remained the same. The only thing difference was my perspective. For some reason my outlook had changed. For me to turn things around, I needed to view “my hill” from another vantage point – one fill with love, compassion, and understanding.
By adjusting our position, making a simple rotation and seeing things differently, we can witness someone or something from another side. Perhaps this will change how we feel. If not, maybe it will make life a bit easier, allowing us to better understand.
If we can take a step back, realize our triggers, feels these emotions and then choose to witness it from another side we have a chance to pull ourselves out of our funk, elevate our outlook, and raise our vibration. No doubt buttons will be pushed, unexpected events will occur, and we will react in ways that are “less than.” However, we can always find a way out of those “Pits of Despair” that seem to swallow us up out of nowhere.
But to do this we must be willing to detach from our egos and give ourselves permission to view things from another angle. It’s only then that we get the whole picture, not just the small slice that we’ve chosen to see.