I stepped outside this morning onto the back deck and allowed the sun to warm my skin. Vitamin D is good for the soul. I guess I was hoping it would be a good cure for my melancholy mood. It was not.
I began to ponder all the reasons why I was in this funky mood and could gather absolutely no reason that made sense to be in this funk.
I was just not okay.
I tried to get my mind off of myself for a while so I began scrolling through social media. Well, that was a mistake! Let me tell you - the worst thing you can do when you are feeling bad about yourself is to scroll through social media! All the perfect people posting the perfect pictures of their perfect lives. Ugh. Enough to make me wanna puke. Nobody's life is that perfect.
Wait? What did I just say? Nobody's life is that perfect. And that's when it hit me. No matter what you see or read on the news or online - nobody's life is perfect.
Sometimes life just sucks and it's okay not to be happy about it.
I get it. We need to have a positive attitude about life and yes, that is very important. In fact, a positive attitude can help completely change your circumstances. But that is not what I am talking about here.
I am talking about the constant struggle to appear "okay" or in control of it all. The incessant desire to appear in control and on top of it all. I have that need. I have that desire. I am my father's daughter after all. He raised me to be a strong, independent woman who took the bull by the horn's and was always in control.
Teaching your children to be strong and independent is great. But teaching them how to ask for help is an even greater gift. Show them how to stay in tune with their emotions and you've gifted them for life.
You see, part of learning to understand my brain is knowing when to ask for help and when to relinquish control. I felt so out of control and betrayed by things that happened in my childhood that keeping control of - well - everything - was my coping tool. I needed to be strong and in control and I needed to always be okay. To not be okay meant I was weak and there was no room for weakness in my world.
So I learned to smile and wave and hide the true emotions lurking behind those teeth (I have a really huge smile). But trying to hide the pain was exhausting and only made me fall deeper into that hole of continuing darkness.
And then, little by little, God chipped away at me and I began to realize that sometimes I am just not okay. And that is okay.
Sometimes life just comes at you and it takes your breath away. You try to smile and you try to be happy but sometimes it takes too much energy and so you just hide away. But I am telling you that you do not have to hide away. It's okay to not be okay.
Stop trying to fit the mold that somebody else created. That wasn't your mold anyway. Understand that life isn't perfect and sometimes stuff just happens. It's okay to take a breath for a moment and recover. But then keep on fighting!
Give yourself permission to be human and let God do the rest!