Symptom Mood Swings
Up & down, here we go again
Ever feel like you’re being bounced around like a yo-yo, between moods or symptoms? Or notice that you’re going gung-ho from one diet to another? In this article, we’ll explore the deeper roots of this, to be addressed through how you pay attention. We’ll be discussing the first two stages of healing, of which there are 12 stages altogether.
All the main points on our stage one page will be critically helpful for life’s especially challenging situations, so you may want to review that first.
Once something has been felt just as it is, without trying to change it or make it go away, something that can be felt physically, emotionally, or both, that has been disassociated, neglected, abandoned, wounded, shamed, or misdirected; the initial stage of healing – stage one – has done its job for at least one time around, each time fostering a more fertile ground for a more powerful stage two. Stage one is when you find the zone for making peace with whatever it was that was disturbing that peace. Even it it’s just one iota of peace for just a second, that can be a critical change of direction for the better, especially if it’s noticed so you can capitalize on it.
Wherever you go when it’s easier to experience yourself just as you are – the zone of peaceful self, that zone expands its outreach in stage two, to what might be called a bigger terrain of interaction. This, by the way, occurs in its unique way each time you deepen your connection to any of the twelve stages of healing.
In stage two, the bigger terrain has to do with a repeating cycle of time – a cycle of moving between two separate parts, or two players on the scene, as it were. The nature of the players can be just about anything; from feeling elated to feeling down, between parts that you judge as good and parts that you judge as bad, from absence of pain to hurting again, from giving up a bad habit only to then go back to something like autopilot-addicted, between eating habits you feel good about afterwards and eating habits you enjoy only when the food is in your mouth, between this my friend and this my enemy, from feeling like you’ve forgiven someone only to find resentment surfacing again, from wonder and passionately engaged to ‘bored silly’, between judgements about conservative and liberal, judgements concerning anything controversial. The more polarity there is between the players, the more charged energy in moving between the opposite ends of the cycle.
Two players in stage two, one player in stage one. And for most of us, many stage one’s waiting in the wings for all our disassociated parts. Parts of our body or behaviors that we have – personality traits and habits – that are either ineffective or off target, and run mostly on autopilot. Parts that we live with, yet, somehow kept out-of-mind, out-of-sight, until they make trouble or scream at us in pain. This is when we’ve often leapfrog over stage one, only to find ourselves in a hyper-reactive stage two, swinging somewhat wildly and unpredictably from one extreme to another. A bit like out-of-control stage two ‘on steroids’, perhaps the most prominent form of stage two in our modern society. “Oh, that-thing” – like it or not – is eventually going to be kicking and screaming until the disassociated part is recognized as an intimate part of thyself.
Until then, it’s apt to be treated as an alien. When it’s physical, it’s favorite way of getting our attention will be through pain or illness, and we’ll often use phrases like “my bad back”, or “attacked by a virus”, “something due to do bad genes” – language empowering it by emphasizing that we have no control over it. If it’s a type of behavior that others may notice yet we’re somehow totally unaware of, we’ll quite often be primed for noticing other people – in our imagination and people in real life – who exhibit the same type of behavior or perhaps its extreme opposite.
Life has a way of knocking on your door until you come to accept what’s on the inside – the stage one connection. To the degree that you accept and acknowledge that disassociated part, stage two becomes that much easier and profound. Until there’s complete acceptance of all the dynamics between the two players of stage two, stage two will require frequent detours – re-visiting stage one for a deeper connection.
Stage two commences as the two distinct “players”, likable or not, come on to the “stage” of awareness. This stage, albeit an early stage of healing, can still be quite liberating once any particular stage-two-story-of-your-life reaches its ultimate resolution, or even its many possible landmarks along the way. Comparable to learning how to ride a bike, or learning to walk, ice skate, or roller-blade. At first, the slightest disturbance triggers you into leaning too much this way or that way, and you fall. After a while, as you gain familiarity with the wobbling between the two extremes, you begin to actually go places free of falls. That is, until some major challenge comes along, like running over a rock. In which case, a further development of stage two, especially after moving thru the later stages of healing, can enable you to gracefully move through even the most extraordinary disturbances without missing a beat.
In the early phase of stage two, all that might be noticed is that first it’s this way, and now it’s that way.
Now it hurts, now it doesn’t.
Now “I’m feeling high as a kite,” and now “I’m feeling down in the doldrums.”
“Now I fall this way. Now I fall that way.”
In time, the incrementally later phases of stage two emerge. This is when you actually expect the next part of the cycle to occur:
“Every time this happens I just know what’s coming next.”
“Oops, here I go again, with everything going so well, I just know the other shoe is about to drop.”
Or, “Well, I don’t think it can get any worse than this. I’ve had this cold before, and it always got better afterwards.”
“Here I go again”, as you may have felt while learning to dance, or anything you’ve been “trying to get the hang of”, but running into the same snag over and over again.
At the beginning of stage two, even if you sense that you’re somehow missing a rhythm, it’s as if you’re at the mercy of time, like a ping pong ball being hit back and forth.
As stage two develops and the more in-between cues focus into your awareness, you gradually become freer to gracefully ride the waves of change rather than being at the mercy of time. In becoming fluent with adapting to the changes between any two extremes, you gain more control in shaping your destiny.
This is a big step forward from how you were in the midst of stage one; Moments of experiencing a mood you didn’t like, something physically painful, or an emotionally charged judgement, so charged that you might wonder if you were driving away even your best friends. In stage one, you may feel that it’s been this way “practically forever,” hardly cognizant of the times when you were having fun or perhaps too busy or absorbed to even notice the times when you didn’t feel so out of whack.
“I’ve always had this headache.”
“I’ll never be able to get married. Nobody I ever want to go out with enjoys my company.”
In the next article, we address:
How to Feel Something that’s Painful or Unwelcome
in a Way that Moves Us Beyond the Suffering