I’m still alive. I’ve been living in a world of un-confidence and insecurity lately. Been busy, been tired, been unmotivated. I’ll get back to it, though, I really will. Until then, I thought this article about strength training as a way to help with depression was worth a read.
A few days ago I watched Wonder Woman. A quote at the end really resonated with me. Steve tells Diana, “I can save today, you can save the world.”
I thought about how this applies in my own life, especially when my depression or anxiety is bad. I often feel like I have to be perfect all of the time. I have to “save” my own little world every day, and it becomes so overwhelming that it’s easy to not even try, to give up completely. It’s easier when I remember that I can take one day at a time. Example—yesterday this is what my house looked like:
It was the biggest mess, and I almost left all of it because thinking of having to clean my entire house made me panic. Then I remembered that it was okay to just do part of it. Today my house looks like this:
The living room still looks like a tornado ran through it, and my kitchen isn’t totally organized, but it is clean. It is definitely an improvement over how it looked yesterday.
So, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, like you’ll never get everything done, that it’s too much to handle—whether physical, emotional, spiritual or all three—remember that you don’t have to get it all done, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just do what you can, and realize that that’s good enough, even if it is small and seemingly insignificant. You don’t have to save the world. Just save today.
Last week I had a conversation with a friend about the question why. It had been on my mind for a month or two because it was brought up in church, and I wanted to write my feelings on the subject. Well, I’m finally getting around to it!
Someone in church one day said something about how trials can make her question why. I’m sure it’s something all of us have done. Why is this happening to me? Why do they have to suffer? Why would God allow this? Most of these questions end with, It’s not fair. Well, who ever said anything about fairness? Life isn’t about what’s fair or unfair. But then, I stopped asking, “Why?” a long time ago.
It’s been years since I’ve asked that question about any of the difficult things I’ve gone through or have seen others go through. The answer, to me, is pretty simple. That’s life. Life happens. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. And sometimes bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. It’s just the way the world works. And it’s not that I don’t think we should question. I’m an extremely skeptical, untrusting person. I question pretty much everything. I do, however, think it’s about asking the right questions. For me, it’s what and how. “What can I learn from this?” and, “How can I use what I’ve been through to improve my own life or help the lives of others?”
This is how I’ve tried to live my own life for the last fifteen years, at least. It doesn’t always happen right away. As previously stated in other posts I’m a pessimist. I don’t happily go through difficulties, and I don’t always keep hope intact. But always after I ask myself the what and how questions, then try to implement them. For me, this leads to greater knowledge, understanding, strength, independence, kindness, patience and certainly a better relationship with my Father in Heaven. All asking, “Why?” ever did was lead to a circle of unhappiness.
Of course, everyone is different. This is just my experience, one I hope has some meaning to someone out there.
Failure and success. Both have been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been in a funk with my writing, my goals (which are very few) and just my overall life. Last week I did my first party, that was not my own, for the company I am now a consultant for. I was all geared up and excited to get going, and it ended up bombing. Not a single person ordered anything. Epic fail. There are a few reasons why I think this happened, some my fault, some not, but whatever the reasons I was miserable, and, of course, my first reaction was to want to give up. “What am I doing?” I asked myself. “Why did you think you could actually do this?” I had two more parties scheduled in the next week and figured they would be failures as well. I wanted to cancel, to tell the people hosting them I couldn’t do it. Then I found this quote attributed to Winston Churchill. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Failure is not fatal. I’ve failed at a lot of things in my life, but I’m still here. I’m still fighting, and I’m stronger for everything I’ve been through. I decided to fight back, to continue. I went to my next party and had a blast! I found that my usual social anxiety at talking to strangers quickly evaporated as soon as I started talking about the products, because I love them! I truly believe in them, and that helped me stay happy and positive. I think my passion showed through! And guess what? I got a few orders that night! It wasn’t much, but it was something. I considered it a success.
My next party was a few nights later, and I also had a great time with it. It was just on Facebook. I went live for twenty minutes or so, had a few people join in, and it was great! One person ordered right then and there. I was feeling better, but still not as good as I had hoped. I looked at others who are extremely successful in this business, making a lot of money, and I felt pretty insignificant next to them. Then, just this morning, another person ordered from my party last week—a big order, too! That’s when I realized I just needed to be patient. All of these little things are definitely successes, but success is not final. I still have more to do, a longer ways to go. If I just wait, act and have faith, I can do this! And I can be happy doing it! Success is a rush! But I’m also grateful for what I have learned from failure. Both are important, and both I can live with!
I am a dreamer. Always have been. There are so many quotes about accomplishing your dreams, so many people who will tell you it’s possible. The dreamer in me wanted to believe it. But most of my life I really haven’t. The only dream that ever came true was falling in love and marrying that person. And look how that turned out.
Spring is creeping upon the land where I live. Trees are budding with blossoms and leaves. Life is renewed. The scent, the sun, the song tugs at my soul. I see all the things I wish I could do and be, but can’t and am not. I can see how depression and anxiety hold me back from so many of those things – why, instead of taking advantage of the nice weather to bask in the glorious sunlight, I stay curled up in a ball on my couch like a frightened kitten. But I also see how I lack the means.
I used to tell myself, “Later.” Later, I would go out and conquer the world. Later I would do all the things I wanted to do. Well, later has come and gone, and I’m still so small and full of dreams un-lived. I love the warmer weather, the sun that stays up longer and the return of beautiful nature, but I also am saddened at the way it stirs my soul, when I feel there is nothing I can do about it.
A Facebook friend recently posed a question about why it’s so hard for us to choose to believe we are enough. At first, all I could think was, “That’s just the way we are as humans.” But as I thought more about it, I realized there was more to it than that. Others responded in a myriad of ways, but for me it has to do with the way other people have treated me.
It’s hard to feel like you’re good enough when so many other people treat you like you’re not. It’s hard to feel that you have worth when so many other people tell you that you don’t.
In the last year and a half I’ve been told multiple times by family members that I’m a horrible, awful, evil person, that I’m a bad mother, that I’m going to hell, that I’m completely incompetent and that I’m wrong. Then there are the men that have been in my life since I got divorced. Every man I’ve dated, liked or been interested in has used me, lied to me, betrayed me, manipulated me, made me feel as though they liked me, cared about me, even loved me, and then rejected me because I wasn’t good enough, perfect enough—I just wasn’t enough.
Now, I know God loves me and cares about me. I know I am of great worth to Him because I am His child. I know I’m of worth to my friends, and I can even confidently say that I’ve made a difference to some of them the way they have made a difference to me. But does that mean I’m enough—in everything? How can I not feel worthless in some way when my own parents and some of my siblings—the people who were supposed to love me the most—hated me so much and felt such a strong need to tell me how bad and wrong I was? How can I not feel that there’s something wrong with me when people who act as if they care about me always end up rejecting me? If it happens over and over again that must mean there has to be something wrong with me, right?
It’s hard not to have those feelings and thoughts. It’s nearly impossible to not lose hope. I have lost hope. And I don’t know how to get it back, or if I even want to. Is it better to live hopeless or to constantly have your hope crushed? I still don’t know.
I just wanted to say that just because the Easter Bunny came to our house this morning, left treats in the kids Easter baskets and eggs filled with candy hidden around our yard for them to find doesn’t mean the day isn’t about Jesus Christ and his atonement and resurrection. We watched General Conference, the meeting the LDS church holds twice a year, together as a family, listened to our church leaders speak and inspire, and we watched a video on the Savior. My kids know what Easter is about. If you were to ask my six-year-old he would tell you that Easter is about Jesus. He would probably also tell you how weird it is that commercials and stores try to make it about the Easter Bunny. Just because there were treats and egg hunts doesn’t mean we didn’t focus on our Savior, because we did. We do. Just like we focus on Him at Christmas time as well, even with the presents and lights and treats.
Filling Easter baskets, hiding Easter eggs, filling stockings and wrapping presents is one of my favorite parts of being a parent. It’s fun for me, and makes me happy. And seeing the wonder and joy on my kid’s faces when they come out of their rooms to see what has been left brings me even more happiness. These moments we share as a family are priceless. They are memories I treasure in my heart and in my mind. And that is good.
The truth is that every day should be about Jesus and Heavenly Father, not just Easter and Christmas. Does that mean we stop everything else that we’re doing? Going to school, going to work, jumping on the tramp, playing at the park, getting a treat, laughing with friends, dancing, singing. No. Just because you are doing those things doesn’t mean you aren’t focusing on the Savior. We can, and should, take moments every single day to live our religion, to talk about Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and how we should be living our lives.
So I won’t feel bad, I won’t feel shame or like I’m not a good mom because I let my kids find and eat treats on Easter morning. Instead, I will cherish the memory of this day and all that it held.