“A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid any more.”
― John Steinbeck,
― John Steinbeck,
In this world of social media we are constantly taking photos and sharing them with the world. Our vacations, our celebrations, our daily lives, our pets, our kids, ourselves.
We more often than not only show people what we want them to see...the good stuff.
The happy times.
The "Hey, look at what I did" type of stuff.
And that's Ok.
But sometimes while we are scrolling through our Facebook feed or Instagram account that little green monster takes root in our Hearts....making us feel "less than".
Making us wonder why everyone else seems to be living a better life than we are.
Sometimes I go through my own FB posts and think...WOW, I am so blessed. I have been all across the United States, I have an amazing family, home, pets, things.
My life looks so easy and perfect on Facebook.
Everything is all so pretty and the way a life is supposed to be.
But the reality is, underneath all the good, the "perfect" is me and my depression.
Instead of a love of self...I have a hate and loathing and disgust.
This is a recent Selfie I posted....
I don't think most people would see how much I really dislike myself in this photo.
True, this was a good day.
I felt pretty this day.
I felt ok about myself.
But the truth is 80% of the time I don't.
I sit on my couch wasting time and wondering where I went.
Where did all my desire for life go?
It's not that I am not happy...I have hundreds of moments of JOY weekly.
But in my Heart I am not happy with ME.
The past few years I have piled on 30 pounds of stress weight. And instead of being active and doing something about it I continue to eat when I'm not hungry which leads me into a deeper place of anger and bitterness and isolation.
But my friends, yesterday....
And I MUST share it with you so if you are like me and feeling awful about yourself and your life you can know that you are not alone!!!
And maybe you can learn something from me!
Yesterday my Mama, Roger and I went to the Kansas City Dinner Theater. We have had season tickets for years and I really enjoy spending that time with them.
Yesterday as I tried to find something to wear that was festive I realized jeans and shirts I had bought just a few months ago were getting too tight. All day all I could think about was how tight my pants were and I kept screaming at myself in my head...."What's wrong with YOU! Why can't you just get a grip and be disciplined!!!!"
And as I sat there watching the play all I could think about was the dessert I had ordered for intermission. I wasn't even hungry but I ordered it anyway. I was having this battle in my head..."Don't eat that dessert. You don't need it. But I want it. It will taste so good. And besides it's Christmas...I deserve a treat."
I ate it.
And as I ate it I looked around me and saw women just a bit older than me, overweight, eating, too. None of them looked happy.
I got back on the bus to go home feeling VERY full and tired from all the sugar.
An old friend I haven't seen in years was on the bus, too. We had visited a bit on the way down and enjoyed catching up.
Now, as I sat on the bus, ready to take a nap and reflect yet again on my failures of the day, my friend got my attention and we began chatting. It felt so good talking, it made me forget myself for awhile.
As she talked her mood began changing a bit as she shared a story with me about a loved one's medical emergency. As she shared I realized the loved one she was talking about was her husband. The more she shared it became evident that he had died.
He was only 54 and was killed in a terrible accident.
She never got to see him before he passed away.
She never got to say goodbye.
And then I remembered on our way down she was telling about all these bus trips she had been taking and was planning and I had thought to myself..."Where's her husband? Are they divorced?"
And there I was sitting on the bus hearing her tell me he was dead. And even though she loved all the trips she was going on...she was alone. She had no one to share them with. The love of her life was gone.
I got home and the house was empty. I kept thinking about her story and she was going home to an empty house, too...one that would always be empty.
I began crying.
I was thinking about my own sweet husband...the love of my life and my Birthday gift from him.
My dream trip to Hawaii. We are supposed to be going at the end of May.
But I had already decided we weren't going. We were going to cancel.
We can go next year, I said.
I am out of shape, I whined.
And besides I hate the way I look
and there is no way I am going to Hawaii looking and feeling like this.
I cried harder.
And then the Awakening happened.
I realized we are never promised the next minute, the next hour, the next week.
We never know when the ones we love will be gone.
And what have I been doing for THREE YEARS???!!!!!
I have been eating
and feeling sorry for myself
and only half living.
I haven't given ANYTHING MY ALL in YEARS.
I haven't been dedicated or disciplined.
But I realized last night that I can BEGIN....
When my family got home I told them we needed to talk.
I poured out my HEART to my sweet family.
They not only listened to me but they HEARD ME!
I feel like George Bailey from "It's a Wonderful Life" ...it's the scene when realizes ZuZu's petals are in his pocket. And it's snowing and his lip is bleeding.
I know the Lord placed my friend in my path yesterday.
Her story was what I needed to hear.
I know I have a long way to go with healing myself...with loving myself.
But I haven't felt the desire, the excitement to TRULY get back up until now.
Girls, if you are struggling I TRULY understand and want you to know that I love you and I am praying for you. I ask for your prayers as well.
And here's to a Brand New Year to grow and learn to Love not only ourselves but each other.