Coping and Healing

This time of year is supposed to be the happiest there is – family, friends, food, gifts, the celebrations of the blessings we have – yet it also brings some significant stress and sadness. I have recently come across a number of situations that have tested my patience, my ability to forgive and trust, as well as my feelings of gratitude. I won’t go into all of the gory details, but I have been tested emotionally, professionally, and spiritually. They have shaken my sense security, and I feel that some things are just falling apart around me. I am reminded that I am not perfect, and I will make mistakes. Other people are not perfect, and they will make mistakes. What we all have to do is learn from these mistakes and do everything in our power to prevent them from happening again. Luckily, none of these things have resulted in death or harm to anyone or anything, but they are still very damaging to my psyche. I am struggling with some of the issues that have arisen, but I have also begun to heal. Please, walk with me through this process, and hopefully, if you have had similar feelings, we can continue to heal together.

Lately, I have had so much going on, that I have forgotten, or more honestly made the decision, not to take care of myself. I have put so many other things in front of my own emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing, that I have been pushed too far. The other things are important, but now I realize that I cannot do these other things well, if I am falling apart inside and out. I may put on a happy face for clients and friends, but then am snippy and irritated with family and coworkers. I do not mean to be this way. It is unfair to others and myself that I act this way. Yes, the happy face should be there, but letting out my frustrations on other people is not alright.

I apologize to each of you that I have been short with recently.

Make time to just be. As an introvert, I need alone time to rest my soul and recharge. I have not taken time to rest and recharge in such a long time, that I don’t know when the last time was. In fact, last week Wednesday, I was forced to take some time to try and recharge because my body finally gave out. Between severe neck and back pain and a headache that was working on building to migraine status, I never made it out to do all of the things that I had meant to do – no grocery shopping, no Community Dinner, no time with friends. I did work on making blankets and getting some work done in the morning when I normally sit around with my cat, but then the pressure was too much and I just slept. It was rest that my body needed, but it still did not rest my soul and my mind.

Make time to exercise. Yes, family and friends, you have heard me right, I need to make time to exercise. (For those of you that may just “know me” through this blog, I am one of the least athletic people out there. I have dislocated my knee caps setting the kitchen table and walking across my dorm room – super talented!). I made it to the YMCA on Monday for the first time since sometime in September, maybe August…I think…We will see how walking 2 miles tomorrow morning works out for me!

Make more time to pray – specifically for God to work in my life and also to work in the lives of others. In the past, when I have come across difficult situations or people, I have found that praying for a change in my heart and for the specific situation or person has helped me grow and see everything in a new light. I don’t know if the situation or the other person ever changed, but I know that my heart and mind did. I saw that there are other sides to it all, that God is working in someway, even if I didn’t know or understand how.

Hugging a tree in Ireland - sometimes, this is me time!

Hugging a tree in Ireland – sometimes, this is me time!

As frazzled as you may become in the days and weeks ahead, I pray that you take care of yourself. You are worthy of some you time. If the dishes don’t get done, and you take time with a good book, it is alright. If there is dust on the shelves, but you get to  curl up with your cat, it is alright. If you have cereal for dinner, but you have time to make Christmas cards with your kids, more power to you. Look at what is important in the long run – your family, your faith, YOU! The details won’t matter next week. Your book, your cat, and your kids don’t care if the house is spotless. The book doesn’t care about anything other than taking you into another world. The cat only cares that you feed it. The kids just want to know they are loved (ok, so does the cat…and the kids probably want to be fed, too). The dishes, the dust, and the gourmet dinner are not what makes you important or special. You are a child of God. You are special. Take care of you!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah my friends!

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