Hamster Wheel Problems #Confessions #CaseOfTheSads #PrayingThroughIt #LoveHeals

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel? Sometimes you’re running so fast in the wheel that everything blurs and you think you’re getting somewhere. Then other days you can barely move and you recognize you’re inside the same cage with the same wheel moving around and around.

I’ve felt like that lately, like I keep circling the same kind of crap. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed. I stop running in the wheel and start to examine my feelings–which ones are founded in truth and with one are founded in myth and then I go through my “how to cope checklist.” It takes a little time for my feelings to reconcile with reasoning but eventually they do and I lighten up a bit.

Sometimes I just go, go, go and don’t stop to look at what’s bringing my spirits down. When someone asks me how things are going my best response is a shrug. That’s a legit answer because sometimes I have no idea. Last week I stopped for a moment and gave a quick recap to a friend all of the things that had happened in the week. Then I got really depressed, thinking about all of the tough stuff I’ve been juggling slammed me right in the face. No wonder I’ve been so exhausted lately.

When Sunday came so did all the tears. After church, I found myself sleeping the afternoon away and when I wasn’t sleeping I was crying. This is what I refer to as a case of the “sads.” I felt myself starting to shut down and retreat so I sat there and forced myself into praying. That’s tough to do when you can barely think straight. But I did it. (Thank you, Jesus.) Part of that motivation to pray was fear driven because I remember how long I lived in sorrow and that’s a deep pit to get out of. Of course I realize that sorrow was from losing Chris BUT that was a scary, dark place I never want to return to. Remembering that darkness of sorrow gives me enough motivation to look at my feelings and sort things out before they spiral out of control.

As I prayed and asked why I was feeling this way and what the real problem was.

What were my emotions rooted in? It came down to one strong feeling and it’s sidekick. I was feeling helpless and that helplessness was causing me to feel exhausted because I was trying to figure out a way to not feel so helpless. I was looking for something to do, some way to change this situation. I was looking for a means of control. (Crap!!! Not that again.)

Upon that realization I asked myself the following questions, just like I was talking with a friend:

Do you trust God in this? In all of these tough situations are you trusting God?

Yes, of course I do.

If you trust Him, then why are you worrying?

Because I don’t feel like I’m doing enough to help or I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing at all.

Do you know how stupid that sounds? It’s about where your heart is and how you put your hands to work for your heart’s calling.

*sigh*

What do you think God expects of you? What is He asking of you?

To do my best. But what if my best isn’t good enough?

There it is. You’re feeling unworthy again. Not good enough. And you know that isn’t true.

 

I promise I’m not crazy. Okay well I am but self-talk works for me and that’s why I do it.

I can tell you I feel lost. I’m struggling with putting balance into my life. I’m struggling with my desire to help others and with understanding what it is I need to be doing with my time. I struggle between expectation and reality. I struggle between hearing the world and hearing the Lord.

Each time I’ve felt this way (lost/confused), good things came afterwards. But the process of putting one foot in front of the other can become daunting. What if I’m going the wrong way? What if I’m messing everything up in my life by doing the things that I’m doing? What if I’m too busy looking the wrong way that I miss my next opportunity? What if I miss seeing the man I’m supposed to be with because I’m over here doing other things? And then I miss my chance at my family. What if I’m over here doing the wrong things and I miss the next step in my career? What if I have to go back to work that sucks my soul because I missed my next financial opportunity?

Here’s the thing. All of those what if fears are pretty much bullcrap, because those “what if’s” carry zero weight if I’m fully trusting God with my life. Sitting here on my couch writing this post, I’m having a difficult time seeing where this path for me leads, because our humanity often makes us shortsighted know-it-alls who actually know enough to be dangerous but certainly do not know ALL.

Since last fall things have been tough. Watching those I love fight sickness is hard. Watching the way people wound the ones they love (often because of their own personal fears) sucks. I’ve found myself on my knees praying and crying for others more than I can ever remember.

I’ve gone through days without hearing or seeing any kind of word or evidence of God’s workings. And I’ve gone through overwhelming days filled with vivid dreams, signs, and bold responses. Through all of this, I’ve found I’ve gained more compassion and new perspectives.

But Sunday, I was sad. And it’s okay to feel sad sometimes. My sadness didn’t keep me from enjoying a Sunday evening with my family and homemade ice cream.

So maybe I’m not really stuck on a hamster wheel. Maybe the troubles on this path are just taking longer to get past than I expected. Some lessons must be taught slowly so you don’t have to keep re-learning them. Maybe these are those types of lessons.

Am I still tired? Yep.

Am I still moving? Yes.

Am I attempting to find the sunshine in these clouds? Absolutely.

Experience has taught me the sun always shines behind the clouds. When things look gloomy, faith reminds me to carry my sunglasses because I’ll be needing them soon enough. 😉

May the sun shine upon us. And may we never forget that healing happens because love never fails. And love is what heals us.

 

Love, Hugs, Prayers, & Sunshine,

Michelle

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Why is it so Hard to Believe the Good? #RelationshipFails #FriendshipFails #MyConfessions #Pride #Dating #RealLove

Something hit me the other day in the course of conversation with my peeps. Why is it that we so easily to believe the bad and have such a difficult time believing the good? Let me phrase this another way, why do we hitch our hearts to people who are bad for us? Why can we so easily convince ourselves that someone who isn’t right for us is perfect for us? But we cannot fathom that the person who is perfect for us is really the one?

Why do we get ourselves tangled up in potential and instead of the person who’s actually in front of us? Why have I done this in the past? (And not just in dating but in friendships too.)

First of all, I want to believe I can help this person reach his or her potential. I want to watch them become who I think they can be. Where’s the true motive in this though?  When he or she is determined to remain at their current level of potential why do I take it so personally? Think about it, why should I be angry at someone for not being who I think they should be? First of all, I “think” I know best. And secondly, I want to believe they will love me so much that they will change for me. I read that and I cringe. That sounds awful!

The anger I’m feeling comes from not being able to exert control over someone to be who I want them to be. That anger comes from pride. That is not being a person motivated by love. Who says that my way is the best way or that my way is the only way for that person to be his or her best?! Reality check, I don’t know what’s best for anyone. Heck sometimes, I don’t even know what’s best for myself. It’s the whole take the stick out of your own eye before you try to take the splinter out of someone else’s lesson.

We should help people NOT with the motive of changing them or turning them into someone else. We should help people become comfortable in their own skin. That doesn’t mean we pepper them with empty compliments, it means we allow them to be the person God created them to be even if we don’t understand what that actually entails, we continue to point them to the source of their answer.

We cannot become enablers to behavior that results in self-harm. If it is a detriment to human dignity then it’s not good for you, me, or anyone. Also the reason so many people find “I’ll pray for you” so insulting is because it comes off as a judgement and not an act of love. How many times have you prayed for someone to change with your own intentions in mind as to how God should do that? Selfish and judgy much? We shouldn’t pray for people to be the person “we think” they should be. We should pray for people to become who they were created to be and for the grace to help those people achieve that. We should pray for people to find their purpose, their salvation, their peace, and their place. That’s sounds a whole lot more like a prayer of love rather than judgement.

Becoming and doing the things we are meant to do with our lives is not easy. Most of the time people won’t be able to see the dream that’s been put into your heart. Most people won’t understand why you do the things you’re doing to get there. I can often see the confusion in people’s eyes when I try to explain my motives and dreams. Heck sometimes its so deeply rooted in me I can’t even form the words to explain it. Regardless, how can they understand when my dream isn’t meant for them. We are all designed for our own special purpose.

And here we are, another blog post that comes back to love . I know, I know. That’s all I ever talk about. I’m so hearts and flowers all the time. *insert eyeroll* LOL! Actually, real love isn’t hearts and flowers. Real love doesn’t make it’s own way. If you look back on what I just said, when I’ve picked people who weren’t right for me (in love and in friendship) I’ve tried/wanted to change them. I’ve had to “force” my way.

Real love isn’t chocolate and roses. (Although if you love me and want to send me those thing I won’t complain 😉 ) Real love is allowing the person to be who he or she is created to be. It is nurturing them and lifting their eyes to the sky, in all moments but especially when they’ve got the muck of life blinding them.

I have been blessed with friendships that are filled with real love. Have I found myself questioning if these people are real? Yes. Have I found myself watching and waiting for them to turn into someone else or rather for me to see their “true colors”? Absolutely. Have I asked God if they are good for my life? Definitely.

And every single time they “prove” themselves to be true, in their actions, in their words, in their apologies, and in the way they live their lives. You can’t fake real. You just can’t. Our relationships just flow. And if that works for friendships it will definitely work with the man I’m supposed to be with. It will flow. We will both be our real selves with each other and it will work. (I’m not lost in the clouds. I know relationships take shared effort, but stay with me here.)

In questioning those tried and true friends and relationships, not only are we not trusting them but we aren’t loving them for who they are. That means we are being a crappy friend by NOT giving them real love. Woah. Excuse me while I remove this huge stick from my eye.

If we truly listen to our gut (which is where I believe God speaks to us most often) we will already know the answer about those friendships/relationships. If we seek the truth we will find it. If we are open to the possibilities of being wrong, we will find the right answers. But we must get our pride out of the way and dial down our own preconceived notions about things, otherwise we will never find true love in our lives with our friends and/or significant other.

This is a truth I’m continuously grappling with as I date, as I make new friends, and as I evaluate the tried and true ones. I realize it can seem a bit off the charts but my recent experiences continuously prove this: if we allow God to move and develop relationships with the right people in our lives we will not find ourselves asking Him to bless our mess. Rather we will be blessed.

Be blessed today, my friends. Be real. Be love. Accept the goodness that exists in our lives and in those around us.

 

 

 

 

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