Being Okay - When Life Isn't
I have a love-hate relationship with Springtime. I love the increased sunshine and daylight hours and the first promises that summer is on the horizon. I hate it though when the weather changes on a dime and we are suddenly freezing cold under piles of snow after a few days of warmth and sunshine. The ups and downs can seriously mess with my mental well being!
This Spring has been extra hard and it has only just begun. The month of March has been filled with a lot of disappointment, loss, and countless things going horribly wrong that I have no control over. It’s been really difficult and I’ve struggled with the fact that I am anything but okay right now.
In the past when life was really hard I would slap on a fake smile and overcompensate by throwing myself into something (a project, holiday preparation, etc) to try and distract myself from really feeling the emotions and the heartbreak.
I would wear that fake smile like a badge of honor, willing myself to just be okay. But I wasn’t okay then and I’m really not okay now either.
But that is okay too!
What I’ve learned through all of these years and all the hard roads I’ve had to walk in my nearly 35 years of life is that it is actually more than okay to not be okay sometimes. That was a lesson I had to learn the hard way when I finally began to process the loss of my daughter and other really difficult life circumstances many years ago.
It wasn’t until I was very near a mental breakdown before I began to bask in the freedom of that knowledge, but thankfully it isn’t a lesson I have forgotten just yet.
I could beat myself up for struggling right now. I could slap on that fake smile and pretend that all is wonderful right now, but I know that is not what is best for me both now or in the future. So instead I am taking my old lessons and doing what I need to do to deal with this season now.
If this is you and this season is really hard, acknowledge how you are feeling and the why behind it. Cry if you need to, but let it out! When you don’t and you hold onto something and bury it deep inside is when you finally reach a point of explosion. And those explosions can be much harder to come back from.
When I am in a season of grief or heartbreak I have learned to stop and spend some time with it. I do some soul searching and understand where the sadness is coming from. And then I let it out. I pray. I journal. I cry. I share my feelings with some treasured people, and I just rest.
And you know what? Nine times out of 10 I wake up stronger and less consumed by grief the next day. I’ve managed my grief and my feelings instead of letting them handle me. It doesn’t mean all the sadness is gone after one day, and sometimes it’s a process that lasts a few weeks or even a month, but I know if I stick with it, over time I will find my joy and my peace again.
Yes, I have suffered a lot of loss in my life. And yes, right now I have stressors coming at me from just about every direction. But I am going to lift my eyes and look up, count my blessings, and work on getting a real smile on my face. And you, my friend, can do the same, even if it feels impossible right now.
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