Lately, my mental health hasn’t been great.
You know how it is. Feeling overwhelmed. Out of control. Knowing something is wrong but not knowing how to fix it.
Without getting too into it (and also letting you know that I’m working towards health, I promise) I wanted to extend some prayer out to others who may be experiencing this same thing. Because often, in my hardest moments, the little bit of encouragement I have revolves around this fact: difficult experiences open up the opportunity to draw closer to others.
Whether that be the chance to be buoyed by the love and friendship of my closest friends, or the chance to identify with and understand a friend who I wouldn’t have understood otherwise. These things are precious gifts.
My prayer comes out of a momentary sense I had this morning. As I was walking to work I suddenly became aware of the fact that I felt unusually light. Was I not wearing enough clothes? Had I forgotten a bag at home? Neither of these things was the case, I simply felt unburdened for that 7 minute walk. The clouding from my head had lifted and there wasn’t fear on my chest or anxiety on my back. And that is all I needed for this day. For this morning.
So my prayer for you, whoever you may be and whatever you may be experiencing, is that you will have your burden lifted, at least for a moment, perhaps a few minutes, or a whole morning. I hope you are able to sit in that peace for those few moments and let it fill you. You may not be completely healed of your sickness, but I hope the reprieve is a sweet gift to you, and can give you enough light for your day.
You are loved, and you are being taken care of.
So, I have the uncanny ability to discredit the things I do.
I just realized it last week! It’s actually quite amazing. And I won’t discredit that.
A very perceptual individual caught me in the act last week. She was asking me about my education and how it was great I was almost graduated and I quickly proceeded to tell her that, yes, that was all well and good but it was only a diploma.
And she promptly challenged me as to why that happened to be not good enough?
It got me thinking. And I realized I do this often. A LOT. It’s a bit of a joy sucker.
- After I exercised last week, I thought about how much I haven’t been exercising instead of being proud that I finally did.
- After a successful week of supporting a student, my mind quickly goes to where I might not have done enough.
- Lately when I’ve have a positive time of prayer with God, I’ve soon after tried to analyze if I was just faking it or trying to ‘get something’ out of the prayer.
- Sometimes when someone requests me to take pictures I think that they only did so because they couldn’t get someone else.
- When I for one moment feel content with the way I look, I instantly try to think of ways that maybe what I’m wearing or the light is just creating an optical illusion of attractiveness.
How messed up does this sound!? Don’t worry. You can say it. REALLY MESSED UP.
I could be having a moment of joy, or pride, or contentment, and instead I’m choosing to cancel it out with failings/imagined failings.
I could be enjoying the moment and then moving forward, when instead I’m second guessing the past. Unccooooool.
And I don’t think I’m alone in this. We have this weird knack of finding things to be Not Good Enough.
How unenjoyable is that? How ungracious?? Instead of celebrating and being thankful for the things in our life, we are choosing to not accept them as worthy of joy.
Can you imagine if a child brought you a drawing and you were like “wellllll sure you drew it because you love drawing and you’re 4 years old but, it kind of just looks like a scribble of nothing, soooo…..”
I feel like that is what we do with the gifts we have, the gifts that God has given us. It’s not very fun, and it’s kind of rude.
So I’m going to try and change that. I’m going to try and take a little more pride, find a little more joy, and be a little more content. Because these things…my job, my education, my body, my relationships… these are precious gifts and the correct response is thankfulness. I need to stop discrediting due to unfounded failings and learn to say more and more: it is good enough.
September is almost done.
These days I don’t have time for extra things. Like blogging or reading or walking or going to the gym. You know, the good, fun, healthy stuff.
I don’t want to sound whiny in this post, but I’m overwhelmed and trying to process through it.
I know if I don’t have time to do those things above, or even the capacity to make time, then something’s got to give eventually.
My unfortunate friend, Anxiety, is starting to make a cozy room around my rib cage and I’ve mostly been allowing it to stay.
Today is Monday, and Monday is a hard day. So I don’t entirely know where to start in getting back to feeling capable and content and in control. But I did watch this video recently that talked about gratitude, and how happiness is closely tied to the amount of gratitude shown.
So maybe to start, I will just tell you some things I am thankful for.
- I’m so thankful for my family. I got to spend some great time with some of them this weekend and I felt so blessed to know them. And so proud. My siblings are these dynamic, intelligent, and independent people who are going on their own adventures and building their own relationships and I love seeing that. And my NEW family, well I’m getting to know them more and more all the time and I feel so privileged to have them in my life and to be in theirs.
- Nature. I haven’t been in it enough, but it makes my spirit light. The other day I walked through the small green space between my building and the main building at work, and the trees were a cacophony of birds like I’d never heard there before. I halted there for a moment and just listened, as the smokers looked on in confusion…
Or these fall colors? Or the mountains?
- Colin makes me feel the strongest and the safest. He takes me when I’m hyper goof ball, and he takes me when I can’t even move off the bed from exhaustion. He also takes me to the mountains and he takes me out for sushi. He’s my favorite gift.
- And friends who just “get it”. You know those ones? It’s kind of miraculous having those kind of friends.
So those are some things. And I’m sure with those things in mind, this Monday can’t be that bad.