We're sitting in National Forest just outside of Teton Park. We pitched our tent right in view of the magical mountain range. We just got back from an eight mile hike and I'm enjoying a glass of wine. The girls are tired and resting beside me. When you have two high energy dogs you treasure the quiet moments with them.
I feel like I need to give an update since my last intense blog post. We were truly at our wits end, losing hope and the response from my post was so encouraging and supportive. It truly got me out of my funk.
I feel like this is a prime example of what I always preach. I was feeling alone and deserted and I got over a huge prideful roadblock and posted something about it. And as the day passed, I received so much love from you. And it truly helped. When you feel like you're alone, like no one can understand, take that risk and share your struggle. You'll be surprised at the response, I guarantee it.
In the world of cyber perfection, dropping a personal truth bomb can be so healing. For everyone involved. Now for a disclaimer, not everyone will appreciate it. Pure, raw truth can startle and confuse some people. In fact, I had a very dear friend who's opinion I respect simply not understand. He believes I should have kept my mouth shut. Don't be discouraged by people who do not understand. Be real, be vulnerable; if you can reach just one person, help one person through their struggle, it is worth it.
Since that last infamous post things have really turned around. Some jobs came in and we have a little breathing room. We're still pinching every penny, but the stress is gone.
I feel like this for some reason is how the Lord is actively working in our lives. We start to struggle and we truly believe we can't make it another day. ..Then we make it another month. We think we're at our wits end, then we live to fight another day. We find the strength. We search for the hope. Then, sigh, a reprieve.
I've learned that I love being comfortable. Yes, half of the month I sleep in a tent on the ground and use the restroom outside (I'm talking about digging a hole kinda restroom..). I love to push myself physically and challenge my limits. But when it comes to emotional health, I like everything to go my way. No drama, no traffic stress, no financial stress, no health stress. I pretty much like life to be easy. But we all know, life is not easy. Then why do I get so shocked when it isn't? Why do I all of the sudden feel that God hates me and has deserted me when I'm struggling?
I think this is a commom problem: we want life to be easy, there is no guarantee that life is easy, we feel cheated when it's not.
I learned a long time ago that the only way for a person to truly grow is through struggle. If everything is handed to you, you will stay stunted, a child in your reasoning, a baby in your resilience. I'm not saying you have to have severe struggles, like health issues, loss of a loved one, fired from a job, etc. But just simple everyday struggles; traffic, line at Target, rude comment on Facebook, body issues, all of these are an opportunity for growth. How do you handle it when things don't go your way? Do you get angry, shut down, lose hope, escape through food or drink? How you handle the small struggles are accentuated in the larger ones. I find that if you practice breathing through conflict, stay joyful and thankful when met with complications, you will be stronger for the real issues.
It's warm where I'm sitting with a cool breeze winding it's way through the Aspen leaves. I find that when I struggle I tend to hold my breath. I don't realize it until I get on my yoga mat and choose to focus on it. I find it interesting that depression and stress can have a physical affect on your body. It's like a weight on your chest, a heavy pack on your shoulders. More sluggish, heavy footed. For the moment, that weight is gone.
I know that we will struggle again, but for the time being, I'm enjoying this relief. On the other side of it, I can now officially say, I am stronger. I'm more prepared for the next down time. I'm more dependent on God, I have a purer perspective. I'm not saying I will handle the next trial perfectly, but I feel more prepared.
If you are in it right now, know that you are not alone; reach out to one person, be vulnerable with your struggle, move through your pride and accept help.
If you feel as if you are in a reprieve, think about your last hard time. What did you learn? How did you handle it while you were in it? How have you grown since coming through it?
Support can come from the most unlikely places. I feel when I type, the words get lost in The Internets. But I felt such support from you and I can't thank you enough.
You are not alone. Have courage, reach out. Recognize your reoccuring issues and learn from them.
Thank you for your support; we live to fight another day!!