People tend to not like talking about the hard things in life. I, on the other hand, seem to be building my career on it. I wouldn’t have chosen that, say twenty years ago, or predicted it, but here we are.
So today I want to sit with sadness. I’m sad these days. And it’s okay, really. It is just another emotion on the continuum. The ideal in life, though if television and movies and romance novels were the indicators, is not actual joy every waking moment. What fun, honestly, would that be?
But I’m carrying a sadness that reflects the messy state of my life. I was walking down my long driveway to get the mail. It was sunny. Slight breeze. 70s maybe. The leaves were rustling, and some brightly colored ones were slowly drifting to the ground. I was taking deep breaths. And I felt…nothing. I tend to find such joy in days and moments like this, but right now, my emotions seem dulled.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?, the psalmist asked himself. He had his reasons and I have mine. I know my every reason. A downcast soul is justified and explainable for me right now.
Here’s the part that I’m struggling with a bit. I tend to want to do something to turn things like this around. Either tell myself that it’s really not all that bad (and in comparison to others, it’s not). Or write out a gratitude list where I can see in black and white how much I have to be thankful for (I have, and I do). Or push through on a new project to distract myself (done and done…wrote an essay and an article, and looked for health insurance, phone plans and laptops, all in the past two days).
But maybe it’s okay to just be kinda sad. My life is good and I am so blessed. But my life is hard and I am hurting.
So for now, I’m getting dressed each day, getting my kids to school, spending some time with God, writing some thoughts down that may or may not help others at some point in time, doing laundry, grocery shopping, making sure my children know I love them, and trying to figure out what’s next. I laugh through some moments, but more moments right now are quieter. My hope is in God, that he’s bringing me through each day, and I do praise and thank him for that.
But I have a downcast soul, and instead of fighting it or beating myself up for it, I’m just going to hand it over to Jesus and ask him what he wants to do with it.