I have found myself walking a strange path lately. If you keep up with my blog you know that there was a time when I was really broken. Hardship in life would absolutely level me out. The death of my father wrecked me. The death of two friends last year shredded my heart and left it hanging outside of my chest. I kept my thoughts at a distance because so many unanswered questions would cycle through my mind and I just didn’t want to dive in.
Living in depression and anxiety and sadness and confusion and despair…. it’s exhausting… I really didn’t have it in me to go there again. So I let myself be sad but I refused to constantly process till the sadness calmed down.
This year I’m going through something again. I can’t share yet… it’s too soon but I can honestly say I’m significantly healthier than I was years ago. I’m stronger. I’m more sound. I have no despair. Even in the situations that seem impossible to change I know in my gut all things are subject to change… until your dead.
So I’m walking this weird path for the first time. On the inside, I have a knot in my stomach. Certain thoughts make me cry. At times a weight is heavy and hard laden. But I’m also, strong. I’m together. I’m functioning. My whole world isn’t wrapped up in the pain. It’s a fraction of my existence. When these feelings well up I take a deep breath and exhale the tension as though I’m exchanging it for peace.
I remember when events or words or situations would trigger the hurt and it was as if someone came in and braided the one hurtful situation into every other area of my life. “I’m sad so everything in my life is sad.” “This is failing so I’m a failure.” “This person rejected me so my life is one giant rejection and nobody loves me… I have no one to talk to.” That’s because the things of the past were still gaping wounds.
It’s a phenomenon that I think few people really grasp. When you carry rejection and self-rejection you actually project that on other people…. You attract rejection. Not because you are unlovable or undesirable but simply because you put that perception on other people.
Same with other emotions. So when you’re carrying around depression and sadness you filter your whole world through that and therefore project that.
Have you ever known a truly optimistic person? Like, someone who is almost annoyingly optimistic?
Me: “Ugh it’s raining again” (I’m thinking of all the mud I have to keep cleaning up because my children are wild animals.)
Optimistic person: “Isn’t it wonderful! The plants really needed water!” (even though it’s been raining for days.)
Me: “The gloomy sky is making me sleepy today.”
Optimistic person: “I know! (excitedly), I can’t wait to take a cozy nap after having a nice cup of hot tea.”
Me: “My son spilled my coffee and I couldn’t get the stain out of the carpet.”
Optimistic person: “oh that’s ok! Who needs perfect carpet anyway. Didn’t you want wood floors eventually? The sacrifice we make for these beautiful babies! :D”
Me: “I’m sorry I ran out of gas. I forgot to stop when we left the house.”
Optimistic person: “That’s ok! We’re spending more time together!” (Who cares if my fingers fall off because I didn’t bring gloves and it’s 20 degrees outside!)
Ok… you get the point. The thing about optimism is it is so dang healthy!
I bet truly optimistic people don’t get heartburn. I bet they don’t yell at their kids for jumping on the furniture or tracking mud in or throwing bowls of cereal on the floor or taking off their diaper and running around with poop all over them…
The stress of senseless worries takes a toll on our health… I’m mean… the mess already happened… what good is stress going to do to improve the situation? What good is the yelling doing? Ok, I’m sidetracking here.
The thing is my picture… the one on the inside that I filter my life though. It’s painted with different colors now. I’m not obnoxiously cheery… (yet) But I’m not painting my portraits in greys and rage. I’m not painting it in disappointment and historical data.
Today is today. Tomorrow is tomorrow.
I have to give today my best. Give me my best. It doesn’t make me a hypocrite to not broadcast my troubles and to put on an optimistic approach. You don’t have to be publicly comforted to be genuine. What you’re going through is real even if everyone doesn’t know about it.
However, you should find someone to share it with. We were made for each other. We were made to need each other. No one was made to be an island. You have people who will carry it with you and lighten the load.
Hey, I truly value you. I treasure the fact that you read this page and especially that you got this far. Comment or message me if and let me know if I’m doing a decent job or encouraging you in any way!
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