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In a Funk

    Emotions are not the truth.  This is something I say all the time.  This is something I say to others as well as to myself.  I whisper it under my breath, reminding myself that it is true.  Because the truth is hard to hold onto.  Sometimes the way I FEEL seems like all there is.  It seems larger and more real than any promise, any person, or any potential outside of myself.  But it’s not the fullness. These feelings are not the center.

    Let me back up.  Sometimes, I get in a funk.  I am just off. I am tired.  I am annoyed.  I want to just stop pushing.  I walk away from those closest to me.  I grumble.  I am exasperated by any small thing.  Sadly, the small thing I grumble about isn’t why I am in a funk.  The reality is I am in a funk and am looking for something to grumble against.  The problem is not my circumstances, but my heart.  

    I don’t like being in a funk.  Generally those closest to me receive the most grumbling.  And they don’t deserve that.  They don’t deserve the mean spirited jabs that are uttered for hates’ sake.  It’s like being in a Rolling Stones song.. I want to paint it black.

    Where do funks come from?  In my own personal journey, these come from a few places.  The most common for me… exhaustion.  I am running too hard and giving no time for my soul/body/emotions to catch up.  I am pretending to be immortal when i am just flesh and blood.  And eventually too many “toxins” build up and begin poisoning my soul.  My faith is still real, but the intimacy of that relationship with God has become back burner.  

    So, how does one get out of a funk?  Again, this is only personal, but hopefully it is a help.  First, I have to go for help.  I tell my wife that I am struggling.  I apologize and let her know that I am walking wearily.  Because this is going to affect her most.  I need her help.  And for the record.. .this is stinking difficult.  I am a stubborn mule of a man.  I don’t want to admit weakness.  I don’t want to say sorry.  But I don’t want to drown in a sea of my own ever-changing emotions.  So I throw out a lifeline.  So, I go for help.  Secondly, I get some sleep.  This sounds stupid.  But something in me is tired.  It is hard to make decisions or do real house cleaning with a crippled mind.  I want the best reasoning possible to stand up.  Thirdly, I get low.  I get on my knees before God.  I bring all the awful things that have crossed my mind to my Father.  I repent (yes, turn from my own selfishness and foolishness and pride that got me here in the first place).  I confess.  I ask for divine deliverance.  This is not a one time fix.  But just being intentional about getting back to the feet of the Father.  And lastly, I have some fun.  I do something stupid that costs me nothing.  I play.  I go out and do some hobby that brings a little bit of joy.  Whether driving and singing, playing a video game, taking a bath while reading a good book.  Something that settles and brings peace.  If it was summer, I’d go on a walk under the blue sky. 

    I guess I only have one bit of advice when it comes to funks.  Don’t stay in em.  Don’t just assume they will go away.  I know people who have been in funks for years.  And many will just jump to some emotional release (sex, drugs, alcohol, money) to try and overcome the funk emotion with some other emotion.  Just painting over the old color doesn't make it go away.  Shoot… if that blackness is real dark, it will shine through the yellow shade of fake happiness you are trying to roll over it.  Face it.  Name it.  Get through it.

A brother on the way,

Ernesto Alaniz