A Cloudy Day

I had to leave. I felt so alone in that crowded home. No one knew the ache in my heart. No one even asked.

“I have to go,” I told them, not mentioning where. That wasn’t necessary information. If they knew I was going for a walk, someone might offer to come with, and I wanted to be alone to talk to Jesus.

It was a cloudy day. Raining just barely. A fresh mist falling from the sky. Everything looked so beautifully green. I walked, embracing the rain, giving no thought to my lack of umbrella and, therefore, damp appearance.

And I cried. How could there be so much beauty in the world, when there is so much pain? And my thoughts drew to the ground, beneath the dirt. The seeds had to die for life to give birth. It’s the way things work. People too. I know this is an old truth, but I have to re-learn it every season. These work together – beauty and pain. One does not diminish the other.

“It makes me sad that you are sad,” were the tender words of my emotionally intelligent 7 year old nephew. And in that hurting together, there is the strength of bittersweet beauty that sends our roots deeper.

I walked back to the house to use the bathroom, and say my final goodbyes. I was going to leave, anyway, but then my friend started to play his guitar, and I stayed. We sang our praises to Jesus our King, and my spirit soared above the trees I wished I could climb. ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus. ❤

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Silence, Gravity, and Serenity

Lately, I’ve not had much to say. On the phone with a friend last night, I mostly let him talk. There came that oft’ dreaded silence… “Well… I should let you go…”

I had thoughts, but none seemed important. Or they may have seemed valuable, but my voice did not have the strength to carry them. They resided in a place more honored by my silence.

Lately, I feel the same when talking to God. I don’t have much to say. He knows my troubles, and even the thought of mentioning them exhausts me. Not that they are much more than anyone else’s woes. The more I talk with people, the more I see that they are common. And maybe that’s what makes them feel heavier. A very deep and wide weight that affects us all, like gravity.

Waking up is hard. But this morning, I had somewhere to be, though I felt like I had nothing to bring. And that’s enough. It is enough to simply bring myself. As much as I want to be worthy of eternal love on my own, Christ gives this gift to me freely. He sees my weakness and loves me completely. It’s enough to be me. And this world I try to carry was carried for me.

It’s not about what I could bring,
But all about Jesus Christ my King.

And in that place, I felt the sweetness of His friendship. Not detached from sorrow, but more like my feet could be planted in it while my arms reached all the higher in love and hope. My Savior loves my friendship. And this is not some irreverent thing. It is entirely holy. Built on my weakness and His strength, and He carries me happily. He carries me – this happy, hurting, and growing tree. I drink freely of His love as He waters me.

 

Sound Health with Julian Treasure

When I first stumbled upon Julian Treasure’s TED Talks, I was so excited. I thought, “This is it. This is my cure.” And when you’ve been plagued with the “hatred of sound” for nearly 20 years, a cure is nothing short of miraculous. Thinking about sound and listening in a new way, as well as creating healthy “soundscapes,” was wonderfully therapeutic.

Well, it was helpful, but not necessarily a cure. Misophonia is such a moody beast. Even when something really helps, it’s benefit for me often has an unanticipated expiration date. But, unlike whatever I may find growing in my fridge, it’s expiration is not final. And it’s been a while, so it might be beneficial to revisit.

He never mentions Misophonia, and his talks are more geared toward the general public, so this is good for most anyone. 

Now, I need to find a TED talk on how to survive the awful music my workplace insists on. 😉

-Peace

Stay Awake & Become

This has been my lifelong struggle – simply getting out of bed in the morning. It should be simple, right? I’m not talking about difficulty with waking, but more so staying awake and physically moving my limbs towards activity.

I was almost successful this morning! I woke up and got out of bed when my alarm went off, stayed out of bed… grabbed a pillow and blanket and laid down on the floor. This is progress, people! Haha. You’ve got to laugh at yourself every once in a while.

There is this “5 Second Rule” authored by the brilliant Mel Robbins, that I have been attempting.

So here’s the one-liner definition of the 5 second rule:

If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.

She recommends, when your alarm goes off, count down – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – and act! Which is a great idea, and I am going to try it again. Clearly, I haven’t perfected the method, given the example from this morning. If only my self-sabotaging instincts weren’t so strong! My brain tries to talk me out of action while I am counting. I think the trick is to only think about counting and move – not to give space to the voice in your head talking you out of a good thing.

Becoming 

On a tangent (which is essentially related, but you’ll have to read on to find out how), I rented “Becoming Jane” from the library, and it’s a heartbreaking story of the life of Jane Austen – who, though she wrote extensively of love and marriage, never married. I knew there wasn’t going to be a happy ending – but it rattled me a bit anyway. As realistic as I tend to be, I do like a happy ending. (Though, of course, not marrying is not the worst thing that could happen, by a long shot.)

But it reminded me of a simple fact – no matter whether or not I ever marry, there is one person I will have to spend the rest of my life with… myself.

I share this to say that there is value in becoming someone you would like to be around. And I would like to become someone who can get out of bed in the morning… And someone who gets outside and talks to people. Someone who loves without fear.

So I’ll try the 5 Second Rule Again.

For the love of the God Man who first loved me; for the praise of Him in His glory.

1 John 49-10 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

 

On a Positive Note: Questions on Authentic Happiness

Coping with mental health can be draining. Sometimes certain strategies (non-prescription, non-medical) work for a few months, and then they don’t work anymore. At least, that has been my experience.

I wanted to be a tad bit vulnerable here without over-sharing. Honestly, I would rather not go into details about the can of worms that is my mental health (focusing on the problem). Instead, I would like to share coping strategies – as they come, and as they go.

Hopefully, documenting them here will provide a convenient place I can come back to if I want to recycle a strategy to see if it might work again. And maybe someone else can find this helpful too.

Yesterday’s find: Positive Psychology. I watched this TED Talk by Martin Seligman.
In this talk, he sites his website www.authentichappiness.org. I went to the website and took literally all of the questionnaires that were applicable to me. And I felt better. Just answering the questions help me re-frame my mindset – particularly the Engagement Questionnaires.

For example, the Gratitude Survey provides sentences & you rate how much you agree or disagree. I love this format. You might know that being grateful is a key to being happy, but the prompt to “count your blessings” can come across as a bit condescending (don’t ask me why, but it feels that way sometimes). Instead, here, you’re given a sentence – “I have so much in life to be thankful for,” and now you can step outside of your thought life and emotions and answer objectively, without fear of judgment. Realistically, yeah, I do have a lot in life to be thankful for. And sometimes it takes framing the question a different way for me to see it.

I might just write down those “questions” in my journal to look back on. (And keeping a journal has been one of the most consistently helpful tools. Writing helps me to pray, and Jesus calms my soul.)

Peace ❤