Have you ever had one of those times when things are going so well it seems to good to be true? While you’re in one of those moments, has your mind ever drifted into the territory of, “What’s going to go wrong? Something always goes wrong, doesn’t it?”
In my life, I flit between feeling on top of the world, and looking down the side of the mountain so intently for the smallest imperfections, so it’s no wonder I slip and fall sometimes. A little bit like analysing statistics, if we look hard enough we will find a way if seeing what we are looking for.
I’m no expert in how minds work. I’m not even super convinced I know how my own mind works much of the time. What I do know is, if I put the right kind of effort into doing something with all of my heart, it will be worth it. Whatever the outcome, success or failure, expected or unexpected, I will have knowledge I did not previously possess. This can be difficult to remind ourselves in the midst of feeling sad or confused about why a particular thing happened the way it did. It takes practice to ask ourselves the right questions in these moments, and to embrace the courage to let some things go.
Still, I have moments when I ask those unhelpful questions about what I think is going to go wrong. Just last night I had one of those moments. Thankfully, a very small one. This past weekend was one of best weekends I’ve ever had. It was filled with quality time spent with my favourite people, meaningful and fulfilling conversation, prayer, guitar, singing, writing, walking in the sunshine, and rest. Intentional rest. That it was such a peaceful and restful weekend was a beautiful thing.
Then, last night, my head started to ache a bit. Instead of labelling it as ‘something always goes wrong’ and giving my mind the potential to start on the road to negative thought spirals, I stopped. I took a few deep breaths, and reminded myself it had been a busy day, started with a Personal Training session, and I might not have had enough water. I had also eaten a lot of sugary food over the preceding few days so maybe a banana and an apple were in order. A drink of water, some healthier snacks, and time away from screens later, and I started to feel a bit better.
No deconstructing the goodness of the weekend, and no constructing non-existent obstacles to jump over because I felt like things were going so well.
Something my grandad always reminds me is that the world throws enough obstacles and pain at us without us adding more of our own. As someone who struggles deeply with depression at times, this is hard to hear, but it helps. It’s not calling me out for feeling pain I can’t seem to find a reason for. It’s a reminder that whatever I’m feeling is ok to feel, and I don’t have to be ashamed or feel broken for feeling that pain. In time it will pass, especially if I share it with people I trust, and take time to pray for peace.
Kia kaha (stay strong) my friends, because you are courageous.