This past week has been an interesting one. Saturday I felt better than I have for a long time and I am at a loss to provide you a logical reason why. It was even more surprising because Friday had been a day when I felt quite the opposite. My mind was working against me, telling me things I know are not true, but I was unable to stop its spiral from one negative thought to the next for most of the day. I finally stopped, turned my attention towards God, and admitted it was too much for me to deal with. I admitted I needed some help.
No matter the burden, no matter how small or trivial I think it is, God has the answer. It is not always the answer I am looking for and sometimes it takes more time than it should for me to understand, but God always has the answer. When I am searching for something, find myself without direction, or the pain of loneliness lingers in my heart, turning to God is all I can do.
Sometimes I recognise and do it straight away, other times it takes me a few days, even weeks. When this happens I feel I fall away from who I am, like I’m holding onto a log which is swiftly being swept down a river toward a waterfall. Along the way the bank ebbs toward and flows away from me, there are points the river slows enough I could swim out of its current, and trees stretch out strong branches to grab, but I struggle to see any of this. No matter what we are going through there are ways of reaching out for help. Sometimes this is the most difficult thing for us to do. We need to have the faith to let go of our own pride and know some things are too much for us to handle alone.
Thankfully the hole I found myself in on Friday was a shallow one. I recognised the signs early that I was heading towards an unhelpful mindset and sought out ways to turn things around. Before this year, seeing signs things were going downhill so early was a rarity. When I do find myself in a deeper hole I have worked out ways to make it more livable. It is an uncomfortable sort of comfort, but I exist there in the knowledge the way things are is not the way they will always be. There is a way to feel better and I know in time, with a bit of effort, I will get there.
When things get to be too much I encourage you to feel the emotions that rise up in your soul. Good, bad, happy, sad, apathetic, mad, there is reason for all of them. Even if the reason is one we don’t and won’t ever know. For me, accepting my emotions may mean slipping away for a time, perhaps engaging in my most comfortable coping mechanism, hiding underneath the covers in bed to watch my favourite D&D troupe tackle their latest troubles. There is a beauty in knowing this is one thing that helps me rediscover myself. Other times I need to be around good people but struggle to ask. It is at these times I am thankful for the wonderful friends around me who seem to know, even without me telling them. They offer the wonderful gift of their time to extend an offer of hope.
If you find yourself surrounded by darkness, with the only things visible being cracks in the ceiling, remember; shadow would not exist without light. Your light is closer than you think. When you find it, nurture it, share it. The world is better when we encourage each other to share the best of ourselves, to forgive, to love each other, to love ourselves.
When I place God at the centre of my life I am empowered to give. To give life, hope, and love.
God bless you, dear readers. Peace.