Listen...Do You Hear That?
In my "new" life post-semicolon, I will admit there are challenges. The biggest of which is pendulum swings.
There are days when I'm positively euphoric - I have developed a deep appreciation for all the little things, from flower bulbs peeking through the soil to admiring architecture in this amazing city of ours to feeling giddy at building Legos with the kids in my life.
Then there are the other days.
These are the days when I'm reminded that my battles with depression and anxiety have been life-long challenges, and just because I've survived the pits of despair, doesn't mean those illnesses have left me. I still have days when getting up is a challenge, facing life's problems seems impossible, and hopelessness begins to cover me.
Except I now largely see these things through a different lens.
I know that my view of the world as a dark dismal place at times is a product of a chemical imbalance in my brain, that I actually CAN fight and overcome. It takes work. It takes effort. It takes acceptance.
Now THAT is the hard part. Accepting that I have a chronic condition that requires constant management is annoying as fudge. There's those feelings of "why me" and "I don't want to" and "this isn't fair" - all of which are valid feelings. But staying with those feelings is not where I am choosing to stay.
I am currently choosing to work through my condition without pharmaceutical intervention. Now this may not be the easiest method, but my experience with the last medication has me VERY opposed to messing with my body chemistry any more right now. Particularly when there are options available to me to help myself naturally.
The truth is our bodies have the ability to produce many of the chemicals we need to overcome many of our ailments. We just have to tap into them.
Now that's a funny word. Because it's super easy, right?
Not at all.
However, with motivation and determination and support, we can absolutely achieve our goals, no matter what they are. Whether you are looking to get into fitness, learn a new hobby, or climb Mount Everest, our goals are always within our reach with a plan.
I tend to live by the phrase "A failure to plan is a plan to fail" but I also know that sometimes just setting out the plan can seem insurmountable in itself.
That's when I have to stop, get quiet, and listen.
Listen to what my inner voice is telling me - the soft voice that gets pushed aside by the drama and chaos that is making it through life.
Listen to the people around me who have my best interests at heart - not the ones who are nay-sayers and may have ulterior motives.
Listen to the signs that are placed before me as I go about my everyday life - realizing that the world is NOT against me, but actually will propel me forward if I let it.
The last few days have been rough for a variety of circumstances, some self-induced, some not. Last night was rough with a miniature person and a fur child both deciding to have bad nights and resulting in very little sleep, as I have a full day ahead, including my company's CEO being in town. I was trying to figure out how I was going to make it through and decided Starbucks was an absolute requirement today.
Went to my local store by my office, and they had my drink but were out of my sandwich. As I went to the register to either get a refund or pick a different breakfast, I was greeted by some Starbucks Suits - not sure precisely who they were, two gentlemen plus the lovely lady store manager. One of the gentlemen told me my drink looked amazing. I told him any other day I'd offer to share, but this morning I NEEDED this drink. He laughed and said it was too early (7:12 am) to be having a day already. I shared my night and the day ahead and they all looked at me with mouths agape.
Then the second gentleman told me he was going to turn my day around. He said he had a bag with $5, $10, and $25 gift cards he would be distributing to customers today...then he gave me a $50 gift card. He looked me in the eyes and said,
"Things get better, troubles don't last, you've got this."
I almost cried. I thanked all of them. The manager got me a fresh sandwich and told me she looked forward to seeing me tomorrow. The two gentlemen gave me broad smiles and wished me a great day. And as I left the store to go to work, a song started playing in my head...from The Color Purple...God's Trying to Tell You Something.
Whether your spiritual/religious beliefs involve the Christian God or not, the message is the same - there are signs, there are signals, there are people in your path every day that are trying to remind you that...
You are not alone...
You are more capable than you think...
You are a unique creation...
You are amazing.
So if your day isn't quite what you expected or imagined, remember one moment, one situation, or one day is not your life. All that is bad can be moved past. Your life is YOUR creation to make the most of.
So pause, listen to the quiet for the answers you need, and realize they may not all come at once, but they will come.