To paraphrase a bible passage, Matthew 7:24-27, what type of ground are you building your life on?
This is something I often have to ask myself. Whenever I fall into a funk, and start to question what I’m doing, whether I can actually do it, and how I’m going to manage it, more often than not it’s due to searching for where the finish line is. If I want to amp up the stress in my soul, looking at the mountain of a task that is writing and publishing a book, or how much I don’t know about recording and releasing an album, or even deciding what to cook for dinner and then cooking it, are surefire ways to do it.
I liken it to standing at the edge of a chasm with the goal we are trying to accomplish in our life symbolised by making it to the other side. Maybe there’s fog which obscures the view to the far side. Maybe there’s a path down the incredibly steep cliff to a raging river far below. Maybe there’s a rope bridge, but it doesn’t look in the best condition. Whichever way we look at it, stepping out into that unknown is a scary thing. Especially if we try and do it alone.
The good news is we never have to do anything alone, if we don’t want to.
So, for me, the next step is to flip my perspective, to start with what I do know. This involves pulling my vision back from the horizon, and looking down to see where my feet are, right at that moment. Then, I can focus on whatever the next step is. In the chasm analogy, it might be trusting that wobbly rope bridge, traversing down to the river to build a boat, or maybe coming back another day with friends and some materials to build a glider. There are many different solutions.
The base I choose to build my life on is trust in God. I am a follower of Jesus, and even though I go through terrible struggles with depression, I never forget I am not alone. Having people who stick with me through the pain reminds me of this. I am fortunate in that I have close family and friends who, even if some don’t understand because of not having been through similar darkness, they stay close and ensure my head doesn’t slip below the surface.
If you ever find yourself slipping, maybe your foundations feel a bit wobbly or there’s something gnawing at your brain you really need to say out loud, tell someone you trust. This has helped me immensely, especially at times I thought I wouldn’t be able to find words. If you trust me (someone whom you might only know through the wonders of the internet) feel free to drop me a message. Know I am not a trained professional, so if professional assistance is something you need please do seek it out. But, I do have (digital) ears and will always listen.
One of the reasons I don’t switch my phone to flight mode at night is in case a friend reaches out during a moment of pain. Drawing strength from being able to help friends, as they have done for me, is a gift God has given me. It requires no energy and doesn’t take time or mental capacity from other things. This might sound strange for someone that struggles with depression, but being open about my pain seems to allow others to feel comfortable sharing some of their story with me. And I know well that pain and darkness do not always stick to a 9-5 schedule.
This post went in a completely different direction to where I thought it might when I started writing. I thought there would be mention of fragility when I think about my writing and music making capabilities. That if I always concentrate on what I don’t currently have, then I’ll never feel like I’m good enough. Maybe in a way that’s what this post is about. We are enough. Right at this moment in our life, we are enough.
* * *
Are there moments in your life where feeling like you are enough is harder to believe?
Who do you trust to talk to about this when things are tough?
* * *
Take a deep breath. Know you are worthy of time, you are loved, you are enough.