At this moment, the sun is actually shining in Seattle. I don’t want to jinx it, so when you read this, knock on wood for me. It’s odd how I don’t really notice that it’s been gone until the clouds actually part and I can feel its warmth. Its absence is felt only gradually. Yesterday I was having yet another off, foggy-brained, sluggish day. As I chatted online with a friend who has always offered great logical advice, he said “do you think the weather has anything to do with it? It was then that I had a “oh, duh,” moment.

I first noticed my sensitivity to the winter weather a couple of years ago. It was late November, I think, and I was hitting the same sluggish “I don’t care about anything” mood and doing little more than going to class and watching reruns of South Park. I don’t remember why I thought about it, but I realized that this happened the year before at about the same time. And then I thought about my journal writing, which I’ve done on and off since I was about nine or ten years old. It always stopped at the end of autumn, and caught back on about March.

I invested in some full-spectrum light bulbs, and they seemed to help. And then I didn’t think too much about it.

Here in Seattle, though, the cloudiness is a bit more intense than Utah. And the frequency of human interaction is much less. So that seems like a legit possibility. I invested in some vitamin D supplements and some fish oil omega-3s today, and hopefully that will make a difference.

As I got ready for the day, I randomly decided to throw on the Mormon Tabernacle choir’s Christmas cd. The final piece on that album, “Come All Ye Faithful,” is an absolute masterpiece. It’s arranged so perfectly.

The first verse starts out softer than normal, with the men singing

“O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.”

The second verse begins boldly, with a full choir bursting out in a Capella

“Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God
Glory in the highest:
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.”

There is then an organ and orchestral building, until in a massive crescendo the choirs sings in full voice

“Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be all glory given!
Son of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing!
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.”

This is one of my favorite hymns and performances, and as I listened in the bathroom, I wept.

I continued listening to MoTab as I got ready, then I headed to the bus stop. I barely missed the bus, so I stood at the stop and put in my earbuds to listen to Brene Brown talk about her book Daring Greatly.

She talked about experiencing joy in the moment, and as I listened the sun fell on my face. I felt the vulnerability of the last few weeks/months, and I felt a sense of peace, rest, and healing. The words came to my mind “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

I need worship, and I need spirituality, because I don’t function well without it. I need real activities, concrete actions of worship and reflection on God, in order to connect with Him and find the peace I seek. It is through Him that I find healing.

I am able to let go of the shame and struggles my family has with me when I commune with God. I am healed from decades of shame and not feeling good enough. I can let go of the beliefs of my family, content that I am with God, and that I don’t need to explain myself. I can then respond with love to them, when I would normally want to guard, defend, and attack.

I think part of getting through this funk, in addition to getting active, taking these supplements, and using fancy light bulbs, is going to mean taking time each week to worship, and to commune with God. It is there that I find peace.

The words of that Christmas hymn call out to me, “O come, all ye faithful. Come let us adore him, Christ, the Lord.”

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