We’ve all been there.
Staring at an encouraging text, inspirational meme, or super caring person…thinking to yourself: “I know that what you are saying is true, but I’m just not there yet. Go away now.”
I came across Amber Rae recently on Insta & I just fell in love with her posts. One of them that really resonated with me was this one:
The first step “When life throws you a curve ball” is to “Feel it. Grieve it. Be kind to yourself.”
Wait..what? The first step isn’t: “get yourself under control for the love of God!?”
The first step isn’t:
- Repeatedly telling yourself you shouldn’t feel what you feel?
- Trying your best to shove your feelings down deep, containing them in a box you hope will someday disappear?
- Chastizing yourself for not being more calm, cool, & collected?
Nope! None of these options is your first step.
The first step: Feel what you feel.
The second step: Keep Moving Forward [remember there’s no rush!]
Next: Remember what you are feeling or questioning is a part of your process! [remind yourself: there’s no shame allowed here]
Lastly: Remain hopeful. Keep the faith alive. Choose optimism.
Remember, optimism isn’t the first step! On the contrary actually, immediate optimistic responses to our crappy life situations or stress usually come across to others as condescending, uncompassionate, & fake.
What we would rather do is validate one another. Allowing each other space & time needed to process what’s going on. & then being there to cheer each other on when we start taking those baby steps.
THIS is what community, friendship, & family are all about!
Validating | Accepting | Encouraging
Optimism is something that we often times will both admire in others while also secretly viewing as naivety. At least for me, it is this way.
We call our negativity: realism & logic. We are so concerned about being duped or bamboozled that we default to being leery & untrusting, expecting the worst. This outlook often leaves us feeling as if life keeps winding up over & over again to sucker punch us until we eventually can’t take it anymore.
For me, focusing on the things in my life that I’m grateful for helps tremendously. I’m constantly rearranging my perspectives to try & figure out how God is going to take the crappy, hurt, place I’m in & make it a recycled beautiful creation like He’s so good at doing. Not only is He good at this, but He’s also been faithful in accomplishing this in my life.
So my hope & optimism, help me stay rooted in happiness when depression & life try to tell me a different story. Depression may battle for my thoughts, but joy has my heart forever.
I LOVE this verse I just came across:
“For the happy heart, life is a continual feast” Proverbs 15:15
When you choose happiness. When you choose that no matter what happens a happy heart is your goal. To have such peace in Jesus that you can laugh at the days to come. It is then that you find your life is a continual feast.
What does continual feast mean? Well to me it means that I can’t help but see:
- God & His goodness in new ways.
- Beauty in all of the little things & give Him glory.
- Hope in hopeless-looking situations.
- Silver linings on stormy days.
My life is a FEAST of goodness & joy when I decide to put roots down in happiness.
This doesn’t mean that I’m happy all the time. Or that I can’t have sad seasons. It just means that I don’t give up until I get back to that place of happiness. Many people have different definitions of happiness. There are some that would say that God wants us to always be happy. While others say He teaches us best during adversity. I think that God is like most kind-hearted parents. Never desiring for His children to learn things the hard way, scrape their knees, or make huge mistakes, but He’s there through it all, recognizing the valuable lessons that can be taken away from crappy life situations.
I never want my children to fail tests, be teased, lie, or be injured. I never want their hearts to be broken, or for them to make bad investments, or trust the wrong people. I never want them to have friends betray them, to deal with infertility or miscarriage. I pray that they will never have mental health issues & never have difficulty getting jobs and getting promoted.
But the chances of NONE of these things happening to them is not good. & even though I know when one or more of these things happen it will hurt like crazy, I also know that it’s a part of life. I’m excited that for my children, they will have me. If I’m still on this Earth I will do everything in my power to support them, love them, & help them learn from the awful things this life dishes out. What an amazing thing to know you have someone to safely process the pain with AND come out the other side a wiser person. We have this with God.
He can help us take the painful things in life & allow them to mold us into softer, smarter, & wiser people. What a feast that is!
If every negative thing that you experienced turned into a gold coin you could save, how rich would you be?! Maybe you’ve been storing them up need to cash them in. Maybe you keep getting disheartened by the pain & never getting the gold coin because you haven’t dug deep & come out the other side. Or maybe you’ve allowed the pain to mold you into a negative, pessimistic, & bitter person. Wherever you at. Whatever you’ve chosen before. You can start new. You can allow all the pain to mold you into a tenaciously hopeful person. A badass who can’t help but be optimistic. Someone who knows that life although it dishes out a heap of pain sometimes, it also downpours joy, fun, & adventure.
Let us remember in every season, as we keep moving forward, a heart rooted in happiness can still be sad & broken, but it allows itself to be healed. Allow yourself to heal today. Don’t skip steps or rush through to the finish line. Allow the process to change you just as much as the loss, stress, or disappointment did, but for the better.
The Mess in Me Honors the Mess in You