Feeling overwhelmed?

Anyone else feeling some stress right now? Those of you who read my blog and social media posts know I try to be super positive. I also never want to give the illusion that life is easy or happy all of the time. It isn’t, which is indicated by my blog title “Middle of the Mess.”

I am fairly good at holding things together and seeing the bright side. However, once in awhile it just gets to be too hard, too much, too unbearable. I also DESPISE talking about my feelings, so I stuff, stuff, stuff until it oozes (or explodes) out of me. This is usually brought on by something small.

This week has been hard for multiple reasons. Both of my kids have had mini meltdowns at some point from their own stress. There have been health issues to deal with, home repair problems, and multiple decisions having to be made regarding all things Covid. It’s the last one that has made me the most weary. As numbers ramp up and the holidays are before us, there are more decisions to be made than ever, or so it seems.

Too often I forget the necessary role that sadness plays in our lives. I sat down on my bed and had a good cry. It helped. I stood back up with renewed energy and determination. Things are truly not that bad. There could be sooo much worse. We’ll get through this.

Writing things down helps me to process what’s going on in my head. I share it with you because I know I’m not alone. I’ve seen a lot of posts from friends recently who are struggling. Please know I’m here to be an encourager right down in the pit with you.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:4-5

I appreciate the first verse where it encourages us to give praise and thanks. Thanksgiving is a brilliant weapon against stress and sadness. Did you know it quite literally changes your brain?? So fascinating.

My new friend, Kelley Dawson, has started an initiative centered around joy. Check out her posts here. It’s a group worth joining to get yourself in the right mindset. I know it’s helping me! We could all use a little extra help right now.

Photo cred: https://unsplash.com/photos/lQ1hJaV0yLM?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditShareLink

The Only Good Choice

“I’m pretty sure this is one of my best gifts ever,” I told my husband as we laid peacefully in my hammock I received for Mother’s Day the previous year.

Not ten minutes later we heard a snapping sound and Jason and I found ourselves flat on our backs on the ground. Luckily, we walked away relatively unscathed, except for our heads feeling a little rattled.

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That night, after the lights were turned off, I couldn’t help giggling repeatedly at the thought of our experience. It was just so shocking, especially after my initial comment.

Fast forward about two weeks. The hammock was rehung with new and improved cord and clamps. Jason and I decided to try it out once again. I felt just a wee bit skeptical after the previous catastrophe, but the evening was perfect for relaxing.

You can probably guess where this is going. Not five minutes into our brief siesta, boom, there we lay flat on the ground again, this time falling from a slightly higher distance and feeling even more scrambled in the head. A choice word escaped my lips. Sadly, I cannot even say it snuck out without thought. In reality, I had already had a minute or two to process the situation and I very deliberately let it fly. This was just getting ridiculous.

My fall struck a nerve. I sat down on the bench on the deck and had a good cry. Jason was probably more than a bit baffled by my overreaction. After inquiring why I was completely losing it (my words not his), I informed him that some days I just get worn out from trying to be positive.

“So don’t,” he replied.

And there’s the rub. I could quit. Throw in the towel. Give into my desire to wallow in the negative. But where would that get me?? Unbearable to live with. No fun to be around. Constantly depressed. Overall a bitter and unhappy person.

So, in my mind, there is no alternative to finding joy in the mess, but there is a small caveat. I must allow myself to be sad sometimes, and acknowledge that at times life does indeed stink…sometimes a lot, and some of us face  way more difficulties than others.

Recently, I took my boys to see Inside Out. I was probably more excited than them to go see it. The movie did not disappoint. I shed a few tears…quite a few at one point. During one scene I was engulfed with the realization that I try too hard to avoid sadness. However, sadness is a necessary part of us. Through sadness we can find healing. This emotion is our brain’s way of coping with the negative in our lives.

I’ve lived long enough to know this truth, however I think it is one I have somewhat forgotten. I try so hard to see the bright side that I often don’t let myself go through the grieving process in a healthy way.

If you are experiencing a difficult time right now, I encourage you to dig for the joy, but not before recognizing and mourning over your trials. Emotional pain is profoundly real, and it isn’t wrong to be mad, sad, or fearful, we just don’t want to stay there permanently.

So, will I get back in the hammock? Yes, once I am convinced it is indeed safe. Anyone out there a knot tying expert?

Blessings,

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