About a year ago, I hit an emotional wall, and I wrote out my no-holds-barred answers to the question, “How is my life working for me right now?”
It wasn’t pretty. I cried while typing. And when I was done, I think I kinda swore because I was shocked by how much uncensored pain had just spilled out onto the page.
In fact, it led me to start taking an anti-depressant again, after being off of one for about three years.
And recently, I felt led to ask myself again that totally scary question, and to be super honest, just like I was a year ago.
And you know what I realized?
Almost every single circumstance from one year ago that sent me reeling and into anxiety and depression is still about the same as it was back then.
But I am weaning off my anti-depressant, and I am not a basketcase, paralyzed with fear and sadness all day every day like I felt I was.
So, what is the difference between then and now?
One, I am not fighting my life anymore. (Well, not as much.) My life and relationships do not look like what I had envisioned and hoped for. And for a little while there, I railed against
my reality, and kept looking at the made-up version of how I wanted my life to look, and it was driving me crazy. I was obsessy and anxious and sad, most of the time. (I was grieving, basically, and still somewhat am.) But now…
Two, I am working on accepting my life as it is. Now, I don’t have this down-pat, but I can tell you this: I am very grateful for the pieces of my life that are calm and sweet, and I cherish those moments and those relationships. And I am prayerful about those parts that aren’t what I wish they were.
Three, I am not trying as desperately to fix everything and everyone. As it turns out, I cannot change anyone. I cannot fix anyone. I cannot mend fences I didn’t tear down. I cannot make someone speak to me. I cannot force my way into anyone’s life. I cannot waltz in and tell someone all the ways they could and should change what they’re doing. I cannot orchestrate relationships. I cannot manipulate people or events, even with the purest of motives. It was exhausting trying and I have decided to be done.
Four, I am attempting to learn to live more fully in the moment. When I find myself in the company of even one person who I know truly loves me and likes my company, I breathe it in. I have more people in my life who don’t like me than I ever have before, so the ones who do like me – let alone actually love me – are golden to me. They fill me back up when the world has torn me down. And so I stop, and inhale, and thank Jesus for the person in front of me.
And five, I can attest that time + Jesus really do make things a bit less painful, a bit easier to take, a bit more new-normal-feeling. Listen, I’ve never been a fan of ‘time heals all wounds’, but truly, there is something to be said for allowing life to move forward, allowing people to make all their own choices and messes and see where it gets them, letting God do in others’ hearts and lives what needs to be done without my interference, and allowing myself to just stop trying so hard and letting God do what he does best…heal and keep the world spinning and fill up all those empty spaces with mercy.
Am I all better? Heck no. My life is still a very fractured, weird, transitiony, messy little thing. But it’s my life. And it’s a beautiful life. And there is peace in it. And there is love in it. And there is always, always hope.
So, let me ask you, sweet one…do you have the courage to honestly answer this scary question: How is your life working for you?
If interested in joining one of Elisabeth’s private Facebook groups (for those in hard marriages, those who are separated/divorced, those who are single moms, those who are dating after divorce, or those who are remarried), email her today.