No matter what’s going on, you have blessings. I have blessings. In the last year, I have had some very painful disappointments to the extent that I questioned my faith in God.
For my entire life, as long as I could speak words, I have instinctively prayed. There were many dark moments where prayer was my only solace.
Yet, what happens when ugly, terrible things happen, and it feels like our prayers are not answered? Why keep believing? Why keep asking?
Part of me thinks we call certain experiences to us, so our soul can learn something from those experiences. Yet, part of me thinks that evil is an active force, and we must not let anything take our faith away from the good that exists within us or in our lives.
This year has tested me. I left a toxic job. I had a boyfriend who I thought was the kindest man I’d ever met, and I had to break up with him because he wasn’t. I was attacked. I had a cancer scare, and I had to let go of some friends I dearly loved because they will never be as good to me as I was to them.
I’m no holy roller or born again, but I decided I must deepen my faith when things look the darkest. I believe what we water grows, so I decided to focus on my blessings because my blessings are real, and there are many.
Does this mean that I was in denial about the unpleasant events this past year? No. It means that I faced them. It means I found out who my real friends are. It means I asked for help when I needed it.
Focusing on my blessings means I don’t use misfortune as my calling card or identity. I don’t trust people who introduce themselves by all the bad things that happened to them. I don’t trust people who smile all the time either. I trust people gradually, over time by getting to know them. I trust people who are real.
Each night as I write in my gratitude journal, I’m learning to trust myself a little more, and trust in the universe a little more, and trust that no matter what happened that my blessings are real and many. Each morning, when I wake, I pray because I decided I’d rather live my life having faith in goodness and love.
Feeling better is emotional rehab, and I equate this to physical rehab. It’s painful and hard, and I find myself using emotional muscles I forgot I had as I rely less and less on my old emotional crutches.
Years ago, when I weighed about 60 pounds more than I do now, when I was in a marriage that felt like a vice grip on my spirit, and when most of my dreams were nightmares, I started my wellness journey by going to therapy because I wanted to lose weight.
At the time, I didn’t realize all of these things were tied together, nor did I realize I’d have to dredge up a bunch of shit I thought I’d flushed away again and again because sometimes old shit is like swarm of fat flies that returns unwanted every fall to find a warm place to stay.
Getting better means dealing with old crap like a practice, much like a yoga practice. We must keep dealing, not denying, but facing the unpleasantries when they rise instead of letting the toilet overflow so to speak.
Once I decided to get healthier, I didn’t realize how hard it would be. Because of my spiritual growth and increasing love for my own feelings, I have had to let some old friendships slip away. I had a few friends who live in a constant crisis, who always wanted my support and attention but who never gave those things in return.
I had people in my life who said things to me I would never say to them. For example, I had a friend who told me my then boyfriend looked too old for me (he was 4 years older than me). Then she dated a man over 10 years older than her. When I called her on it, she became hostile and defensive.
When we grow, we outgrow old ways of being, and sadly we sometimes outgrow people we love. Setting boundaries, dealing with the pain of old resentments, and new rejections that are a result of trying and taking risks are all part of getting better and growing stronger.
Getting stronger means there are times that are lonely as hell. In addition to sometimes dealing with old shit, and losing old friends, I am still waiting to find a man who is strong enough to walk beside me. This is hard.
But I’d rather walk alone instead of being crippled by fear, anger, resentment and misery because I already had a life filled with those things. I’d rather have the life I have now.
I hope my blog inspires you to believe in yourself more and feel less alone in the world. I, for one, am inspired by the imperfections of others who continue to rise up again and again despite life's challenges. May we find ways to inspire and support each other.