Monthly Archives: February 2016

Deep Thoughts at 2am…

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As my title for this post indicates, it is 2am, and I am enduring a sleepless night. Being up in the middle of the night is nothing new for me, although it hasn’t happened in a while. It is usually something that goes hand in hand with my depression, but I’m not depressed tonight.

When I tried to go to bed a few hours ago, I knew sleep wasn’t going to come though I continued to try. I knew it wasn’t going to come because I was facing feelings of anger due to something that happened earlier in the evening. I felt I was taken advantage of.

For many years I was constantly taken advantage of. I was lonely, and desperate to fit in and be accepted, so I let people take advantage of me. I let them walk all over me, and then I turned around and asked them to do it again.

I’m not like that anymore. I know who I am and what I am worth, and I won’t let others treat me poorly. And if standing up for myself means not being accepted, I’m ok with that.

But tonight, when I felt taken advantage of, it unlocked some buried feelings and I got angry. Angrier than was necessary probably, but sometimes we can’t control our feelings. They race to the surface and force us to deal with them directly.

Those negative feelings brought up other negative feelings, and my anger became sadness and self pity as I began to question certain things. I was feeling sorry for myself.

In an attempt to calm myself down, I grabbed my adult colouring book (yes, I have one and don’t knock it until you try it 😊), and began to colour a page of flowers.

My heart and my mind both calmed.

And a little voice whispered, ‘It’s not about you.’

And everything snapped back into perspective.

That little voice, that reminder was all I needed to pull myself out of my self pity. To pull me out of the thoughts of what wasn’t right in my life, and what I may be missing in my life.

Because it’s not about me.

I am not here for me.

I have a purpose in this world, just like everyone else. But that purpose is not to make me as happy as possible or to give me everything I desire.

My purpose is to make life better for those around me. My purpose is to spread love and joy.

It’s so easy to focus on all that is going wrong. It’s easy to blame things on everyone else. It’s easy to sit alone and feel sorry for myself.

But that accomplishes nothing.

While it is still not right that someone took advantage of me and my helpful nature tonight, I can control how I respond to it. I will still stand up for myself. I will still not allow someone to treat me that way.

But I also will not let it lead to anger and triggers of past experience.

I can’t control the way someone else behaves. But I can control how I react.

And I have that voice in my head to remind me that this one incident is so small in the big picture.

That big picture is not about me.

So I have released the anger from earlier in the evening, and I have forgiven the person who triggered it.

I can sleep peacefully, and face tomorrow (well, today) with my usual positive attitude.

Goodnight.

 

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Joy

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At work this morning, one of our clients made a comment about how I am always so bubbly. I realize that some of you who know me really well are probably holding back laughs at the moment.

And yes, I do have a certain persona that is specifically for my job. But that persona is just an enhanced version of me. I am a friendly, positive, upbeat person. I’m a glass half full kind of girl. I am someone who laughs at myself, and with others. I look for the good in everything and everyone, and I treat everyone I meet with respect and kindness. I work hard not to judge or criticize, and I remind myself daily that I have no idea what someone could be struggling with.

Why am I like this?

I haven’t always been this way, trust me!

So, what’s my secret? How do I find the energy to be this way in a world that is often quite cruel?

Joy.

I have joy. Beautiful, simple, unadulterated, pure joy.

Don’t confuse joy with happiness. Joy, real joy, is different from happiness.

Happiness is a feeling. It comes and it goes. It can change in an instant. It can be stolen or shattered by something or someone.

But joy

Joy is something that resides within you. It’s there on the good days and on the worst days. It’s there through the pain and the struggles, but it cannot be easily taken or destroyed.

Joy is fragile, yet strong. It comes from within and has a solid foundation.

Happiness is human. Joy comes from beyond this world. Happiness is dependent on things. Joy doesn’t care about money or status or being right or getting the guy. Joy is much deeper than those earthly things.

My joy comes straight from God. When I finally surrendered to Him, He planted it within, and my faith took hold of that seed. The joy grew until it conquered my negative mind and broken heart, and it transformed me from the inside out.

My joy stays with me during the torrential downpours of life. It’s in me on the darkest days, and it comforts me through my battle with depression.

My joy is what keeps me going. It is what gets me out of bed in the morning. It is why I will never give up or give in.

My joy now allows me to forgive those who have hurt me or betrayed me. My joy releases the anger I held on to for years. Most importantly, my joy has given me the courage and freedom to finally forgive myself.

My joy rests deep in my soul and grants me peace in this chaotic world. It’s a burning fire that is nearly impossible to put out.

My joy relies on my faith. My joy is solidified in my Lord. My joy is the reason I am still here.

And I know my purpose is to share that joy, to spread it around in the hopes that I can shine a light on someone’s dark day.

My joy doesn’t mean life is perfect. But it creates hope and strength to get through anything.

If you have joy – true, pure joy – cherish it, protect it and share it.

Joy is a rare and beautiful thing. But it is not as hard to achieve as many think.

Just let go. Give up control. Lay at the feet of God and surrender to His grace.

And you will be filled with a joy that is beyond your imagination.