Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Five Actions to Fight Off the Blues

I had the best of intentions today. Last night, when my head hit the pillow, my plans for today were firm. Household chores that I have put off for two years were in my sights. I could feel the achievement already. Seriously? Yes, seriously. TWO YEARS!

Okay, I hear you wondering what exactly could I have put off for two years?

You really won't believe it and I am embarrassed to say. Christmas decorations. Yep, my snowman collection still sits in the living room on the sofa table as if Christmas were next week. Now you ALL know my terrible secret so you have to pinky swear that we are friends for life!

Well...you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men. Actually, I don't really know how that saying originated but I have heard it all my life. I have always understood it to mean that sometimes, just sometimes, plans get thwarted. It can be from unforeseen circumstances or because of our own unwillingness.  I will admit that my loneliness, longing, unrealized hopes, were all bundled together today in their attack. It was entirely too easy to fall into the feather mattress of self-pity rather than to forge ahead with resolve and strength.

I have been taught better. I know that the  more difficult choice is usually the right choice. If I had made myself overcome then I would be sitting here with a completely different outlook right now. I would have restored some of my dignity and self worth. I would have felt some pride in my work and I wouldn't have wasted so much time counting all of my losses. It was a major over-indulgence to allow myself to bomb out today.
It's kind of ironic that I have my journal out with just a few pages used up, and as I thumb through those pages I see that the first post is dated 9/23/11....the first day of autumn.  My writing reflects the changes in the wind and feeling "off" and weepy.  That was four years ago. This is the eve of 9/23/15 and I am in the same emotional spot. Do you think I have a problem? (You see, this is the way God works in my life. It is those "little moments" that I have to be watching for or I miss Him and erroneously chalk it up to irony.) 

So here I sit....the same darn emotions liquefying my passion for living and turning me into an old, smelly, moldy, sponge, soaking up all the germs and spreading them onto everything and everyone I touch. Wow, that sounded dramatic. Okay, maybe not everything and everyone, but it sure can feel like it.

So if it were YOU sitting here in front of me and telling me this story of your day, there are things that come to mind that I would tell you. Things that I would say to encourage you and lift you up. Maybe it will help you and me too.

1.  Fear is a big, fat, liar. If the tape playing in your head is condemning and criticizing then it is not THE VOICE. Take note of the lies you are telling yourself and change the message. (I am not lonely. I am lovely.)
2.  Freedom, joy, and peace, do not come without us doing our part. Campfires don't just light up because you pull up a camp chair. Wood must be gathered and a lighter or matches must be brought. Then the fire must be tended until it is roaring and lights up the night. Do the work.
3.  Change brings Hope. If things aren't going right, change something. Choose one thing, big or small, and commit to it. Write, exercise, be early! The smallest degree of change will impact your destination!
4.  Gather up your friends. Talk it out with people who know you well. Build up this important friend group so that when you are in need, you can easily make a call for support. Just do it. Make the call. Let them sing your song to you when you have forgotten who you really are!

5.  Clean your environment. If there are events, people, issues in your life that are dragging you away from your real self, it is time to do some housekeeping. What you tolerate will only continue. Get rid of it.

As I read again from the old journal posting from four years ago, I see that I made a note to myself. It was a scripture from Psalms 51:12 which is perfectly fitting for today:

"Restore unto me, the joy of my salvation, and renew a right spirit within me."
Real gurls have to admit when they need help. Friends are great and certainly helpful but when we call out to God, He already knows our very innermost desires, hopes, and failures. He will answer but we must do our part.

*If you need help and feel that you have no one to listen, please feel free to contact me. If you are local, we can meet up for coffee. If you are distant, we can text, email, message, or call. Everyone needs a little help sometimes! :)