Some days I feel like my head is in a cloud. Not a pretty, fluffy, dreamy cloud. More like a dark, dense, stormy one.
Some nights I tell my husband, Brent- I wish it was just you & me on this earth becuase everyone else stresses me out. And other nights I think, I wish it was just me on this earth, ’cause even Brent stresses me out.
Some days it feel like I’m fighting just to get ahead, to pass myself and my grouchiness, my negative attitude and my complainy heart. I just want to go to bed and wake up with a clean slate, erase these feelings, this day.
These past few weeks have been some of those weeks You know when you respond to “How are you?” with “Oh you know, it’s been one of those days.” ? Well multiply that day by about 12 and you’ve got me lately. Or at least my perspective on the situation.
When I allow my thoughts to spiral in a path of negativity suddenly life is a mess dotted with a few spots of beauty, rather than beauty dotted with a few spots of mess. I’ve recognized that the most dangerous thing with my thoughts is when I lose sight of reality because I’m so bogged down with details that I think I percieve.
Something I’ve dealt with throughout my life, and now more then ever in my marriage, is perspective.
“Are you sure the teacher was yelling at you, Katie, or was she speaking to the class?”
“Did your sister insult you, or was she just being matter-of-fact?”
“Did I say I hate you? No. I’m simply disappointed.”
and the list goes on…
In my marriage it looks even uglier…something more like…
“I don’t love that color on you.”
He thinks I’m so ugly.
“This isn’t my favorite meal you’ve made.”
He thinks I’m the worst cook that ever walked the earth.
“I wish you would organize your closet.”
He’s wondering what he got himself into, his wife is a messy disaster.
(Ok so, that last one may be true… 🙂 but you get the picture.)
As I’ve grown, learned to know myself and my tendencies better, there has been a consistent pattern to fight against.
My natural tendency is not to hear what people are saying as it is, but to interpret what I believe they mean. Not to trust that they are being honest, saying it like it is. It is not to see life as a reality, but to worry about everything I’m doing wrong, everything that could happen.
If you can relate, then you know, this can be paralyzing.
But this is no way to live. In fact, this has got to be one of the worst ways to live. Living in assumption of the untrue, allowing days to pass unaware of the depth of beauty to be found.
perspective’s got the best of me
but what if I flipped it?
Thank God, perspective is a choice. Just as I allow my mind to fly one direction, I can redirect it to reality, to truth, to blessings and joy and the fullness of life as I live it, not simply as I see it.
1. Be transparent. When you’re living in a big cloud, transparency seems practically opposite your natural tendency, but oh how refreshing it is to share. I experienced this even today, with a much needed phone call from a friend. Often times a reality check and some encouragement is all I need to let go of stress, anxiety, whatever is weighing me down in the moment. And if you think you’re alone in the journey, you’re wrong. Each of us feels it at some point, whether it’s the struggle for contentment, the fear of people, or the disjointed view of a situation. We all need reality, and journeying together is way more fun then traveling alone.
2. Shut it down. For me, it’s become a conscious decision, sometimes daily, to be positive. To choose joy. To open my day with prayer and allow the Lord in so there’s no room for all the junk I can soak up, even unknowingly. Throughout my day if I’m keeping up communication with Him I feel so much more refreshed then when I stuff my emotions.
3. Readjust your focus. Thankfullness is the best choice you could ever make, I promise! When I start choosing, I find it contagious. Sometimes it means physically listing off the beauty of that day, other times it’s refocusing my thoughts on someone else. Who can I bless today? Who can I help?
I found this verse today and it’s packed full of what I needed to hear, and need to keep hearing.
Let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.
This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.
It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it.
For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.
1 John 3:18 MSG
4. Treat yourself. As intentional as you are with your thoughts, there is always that moment when you just need a break. Perspective isn’t always warped, sometimes life is just that crazy. Take a break, even if it’s for the tiniest bit. Treat yourself to creamer laden coffee and an episode of something good, or at least sit down for a sec! If you’re like me, when productivity sets in there’s no stopping you, but I’m always amazed at how time multiplies and my image of what’s ahead changes by simply allowing myself to rest.
Blogging is cheap therapy. Writing helps me process, reminds me of what’s true and good, relays my thoughts when I can’t vocalize in any profound sense. This could be one of those moments,
because I’m feeling refreshed…
And thankful? I’m feeling that too.
sweet moments of time from this week alone.
for this morning’s coffee and a microwave on constant reheat
for the street light that reminds me of summer night moons
for the snow covered park two blocks from home
for dusting off the juicer and drinking my vegetables
for a weekend trip to Philadelphia and my favorite flagship store
for bagels on bagels on bagels [my favorite guilty pleasure]
for folding laundry and friendship combined
for the aftermath of yummy food and sweet memories
for lavender & honey Yogi tea. experiencing “tension relief” together
for the one I am privileged to do life with
for these things, I give thanks.