Do you ever feel as though you are living someone else’s life? Like your life is not your own anymore? You are not alone. Chaos is always imminent in life. That’s a given. But sometimes you’ve got to take a step back and re-evaluate your steps. Don’t be afraid to write, re-write, edit, and expand your draft(s). It’s what life’s all about.
If you’ve experienced a lot of disappointments, it’s easy to feel dumbfounded. You should, however, be encouraged by the fact that no one knows what they are doing. Unless they’re the type who has it figured out completely. Which is entirely a matter of opinion.
I read an article the other day that spoke to my soul. And it also highly convicted me. In a good way. It was more of an eye-opener than anything. I realized one thing upon reading it: I feel like an outlier at times. Aka: I have all these wants and needs, but I sometimes fear taking them. In the interim, because of that cautiousness, I’ve gotten caught up in looking at others and wanting what they have. Which isn’t healthy. It’s all relative, because some people would look at my life and want what I have. It’s easy to put on the rose-colored glasses in front of others. As an introverted extrovert, I get energy from people, plain and simple. But I can’t always get my own heart on the same page with what I am seeking.
If you catch yourself looking at your negatives rather than your positives, then perhaps it’s time for a mind overhaul. Sure, ruminating on the former is an enticing option, but what do you gain from an antagonistic viewpoint? You might be left with a cynical heart. And it happens to the best of us, but it’s temporal in nature, thankfully.
I think of John Mayer’s, “Edge of Desire,” when I reflect on all of my crazy 20’s experiences. Now that I’m officially closer to 30 (* sigh *), it all makes much more sense to me. It’s about love and all the turbulence that comes with it. Especially the first part:
“Young & full of running
Tell me where’s that taking me?
Just a great figure eight of a tiny infinity”
I’ve done my fair share of running in my 20’s. How are you supposed to know where you are meant to be and when? I fear commitment, being stuck, and disappointing people. I inherently love people, but I don’t always take the correct actions to reflect that level of love. It’s my human margin of error. I guess we all have one. And sometimes I purposely block myself because I want to protect my feelings and wellbeing. Apparently they call those “healthy boundaries,” but they sure feel funny. This adulting thing is harder than I thought.
Perhaps love’s topsy turvy waves should be recognized as one of the greatest gifts in the world. It makes us feel alive while it’s happening. But when it’s over, man, we feel the loss. And I’ve been angry at God for it, too. At some point in my walk, it was bound to happen, but I surely didn’t see it coming. I miss people. I miss experiences. I miss everything that made me feel alive at one point in time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve earned many things. But some disappointments have blindsided me.
There can be no darkness without light, or so they say. The quote immediately makes me think of friends who have endured life’s pain. I’ve been righteously angry for them. But once the anger subsides, I have to remember how much they are growing, whether they realize it or not. In a book I’m reading, it talks about margin, and how we leave little room for reflection, quality time, or rest. But what about margin of error? We are only human, right? What if in that tiny percentile, we make choices that are out of character? What happens after that? We grow. We change. We prosper. It’s all good in theory, but the emotions in between get messy. Such is life, I always say, but I can feel some deadness in my voice when I say it.
When we start to fiddle in God’s plan, calamity strikes. I’m referring to doubt. Doubt doesn’t come from God. It’s natural to question things, but when doubt overlaps joy, change inevitably takes place. Change isn’t all bad. Some of it is good. To say all change is bad would be an oversight. And a lack of emotional intelligence. For me, I’ve had a propensity to never stay in one place for too long. Maybe it’s my constant need to see new things or try new things. Or maybe I’m just a restless 20-something who is trying to find her way. Trying to process those emotions in the midst of change is a challenge in and of itself. I’ve learned that so much of life is timing. And at times, I’ve had to learn it the hard way. But I’d so much rather care deeply than be detached. Even if it means I get invested in people more than I should.
If you’re feeling discouraged today, let yourself feel those emotions. Sit with them, reflect on them, and recognize them for what they are: finicky, fleeting emotions. Once you call them by name, you can work to identify the source and tangibly change your reaction to those thoughts and feelings. If you’re feeling more darkness than light, it could be that you’re only seeing the struggle. Be intentional about seeing the light. You never know when the tides will change in your favor!