An important message to all those who have read, are reading, or will read anything I write. Thank you for taking time out of your day and putting the effort into reading these words. I hope they are useful in some way to help overcome or manage any sort of struggle, worry, or hardship you find yourself in the middle of.
I always feel like I am caught in the middle of something. What to have for dinner. Whether to go to ultimate on a stormy day. Doing what society says over what my faith tells me. Engaging in conversation with someone as soon as my heart and mind tell me I should. Whether getting out of bed in the morning will be worth the energy it requires.
This post is being published later than I and my self imposed schedule would like because for the first time in a while my head and my heart feel empty. I feel a lack of hope that no longer feels familiar because, for months there has been a steady stream available. Planning is something I consider myself to be good at. Taking the time to plan, then making the effort to put plans into action is something I am not good at. It turns out I have not planned for this seemingly sudden lack of hope as well as I thought I had. Not all things I set arbitrary time frames to complete depend solely on me, but that doesn’t stop me feeling like I have failed, at least on some level. I had thought I would be married by the time I was 23, then 27, then 30, or at least on the way to this becoming reality. I had thought after I turned 21 I would have found a (somewhat) enjoyable job, working with good people, fulfilling a purpose that made me feel good about what I was doing. Throughout my 20’s I thought a day would come when I really started enjoying ultimate without feeling self-imposed pressure to win, stress of feeling others might be bending the rules to their benefit (they seldom do,) and perhaps even enjoy a high level tournament or two. I thought I would have found a place that really felt like home.
None of these things have panned out the way I thought they would.
To varying degrees I put plans in place to give these things have a higher chance of succeeding, but some roadblock always seemed to show up.
I struggle with depression. Less often over the past year, but there are still days when putting on a pair of shoes is a battle, and going outside in the sun seems the worst idea in the world. Picking up my phone feels like picking up a ten tonne weight, even though I know I need the company of a good friend. During some of the toughest times in my life I focussed on the good things that haven’t happened in my life and how they still weren’t happening. This is something I have been thinking about for the past week. I’m currently not working, by choice, and in and of itself is manageable. I will be moving house at the end of February, to where is as yet unknown. Again, by itself, manageable. I find myself feeling lonely even when there are good people around me. This is not so manageable and is the cause of a lot of my struggles.
In the 500 words I have written, not once did I mention God, the church I attend, or the loving people who offer more than I could ever thank them for. The major reason I have found more light in my life over the past year is committing more of my time and energy to honest prayer, reading and wrestling with scripture, and taking the opportunities to help others when God puts them in front of me. I do this not instead of looking after myself, but because it is looking after myself.
When I find myself caught in the middle my default course of action is now to turn to God, to pray, to honestly express how I am feeling, and try to lay my burden down when it becomes too much for me. I can’t do it all the time. Some days it doesn’t seem like it helps. But, more good days than bad days is a long way from where I was even as short a time as 2 years ago.
When you are caught in the middle of something, what do you do? Do you have plans in place to help you figure things out? Something as simple as choosing what to eat for dinner can take more time and energy than it should. Having a go-to plan can save time and energy which you can spend on other things, like being present in the moment when you are spending time with good people.
Be good, keep good, and sleep good dear readers. Peace.
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