Life Happens

From the Heart of Grace Waters…

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Silent Tears

Sometimes you just hurt. Not that surface kind of hurt, but that deep-down, soul-wrenching, unexplainable hurt. That hurt that seems to invade every facet of your life until you find yourself drifting through each day, pasting on the appropriate smile, and saying just the right things. But that pain deep inside is there as a constant reminder that things really are not as they seem. I have been there. “Where is there?” you may ask. There is where you silently cry as your significant other sleeps beside you. You soak the pillow with your tears, feeling lonely even in your togetherness. As you cry, your body shakes as you try to control the sobs from breaking free and disturbing their sleep. I mean, they wouldn’t understand anyways, right? There is trying to describe to someone you love how you feel, attempting to rid yourself of this vast feeling of going nowhere and mattering to no one, and them responding, “Well, you have a good life, right?” as if that makes what you are saying and how you are feeling null and void. Yeah, they missed it. Or, maybe you search through your mind polling the many phone numbers in your phone, but not one catches your attention as someone you can call and have them talk you out of this lonely place. 

I mean, when you look at the surface, life is great, right? You have everything you need and some things you want. You have a loving partner, maybe family and friends, even some children sprinkled in there. You are the one everyone depends on to encourage them and be there for them, but sometimes you want to shout “WHAT ABOUT ME?” On the surface, you have it going on,  but no one knows you’re struggling with being a hamster running around the proverbial wheel of life, seeming to get nowhere, but running because that is what you were told to do. The days spent building up others’ dreams while you see yours collecting dust on the shelves are tough days, but you grin and bear it. You have no choice, right? Working a 9-5 you hate because your family has to eat, right? Pushing others to be great when you want to give up. Yeah, I know what “there” is. But even with all of this that no one ever sees, you manage to make life look amazing. 

That is because even with all of that, it really is. Even with the soul-searing pain, at least you can still feel. Even with the loneliness, at least you still function. Even when it seems no one on earth understands or cares, there is still One who knows just what He is doing every step of the way. Maybe you are in the place I described. It is a ROUGH place, it is, but it is not the end. You may feel like giving up. Been there. Suicide has crossed my mind several times. That is not the answer. That is only hurting others because you hurt. Next up, getting in a car and just driving…disappearing like you see in the movies. Yeah, that would not work. Eventually someone would find you or you would just get tired of running from yourself. Well, maybe if I turn my back on God who doesn’t seem to care anyway, and I just do whatever I want, that will change things. Nope. Same issues just masked by “good times” which are really camoflauging empty moments. 

Sometimes just acknowledging the feelings is the first step. Acknowledging that you are broken and hurting, feeling unnecessary and overlooked, seemingly unproductive and thinking you can be easily replaced, yeah, that is the first step. Unfortunately, this may be a journey you take alone. It may be the roughest journey you ever embark on, but in the end, if you can acknowledge it, you can beat it. So, yeah, maybe there will be a few nights, weeks, months, of tear-soaked pillows…Maybe your phone will become useless as you can’t figure out anyone to call, but in the end you win. Let the silent tears flush out the bitterness and the hurt. Allow yourself to be in the moment, and know that as long as there is a tomorrow, there is another chance for things to get better from here. It has to get better. It just does.


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Speaking Into the Silence

Lately, I have been a bit discouraged. Yes, even me…the motivator, the one who encourages others, the one who always has positive things to say and pushes others out of their low moments, yes me…and it has been one of those times when only those who are closest to me, or those who cared to really pay attention, have known just how discouraged I have been. Built in to the discouragement has been hurt, disappointment, let downs, and being looked over–a convoluted concoction of negativity. It almost made me give up, not just “throwing in the towel”, but burning it to the point where the thought of doing what I am supposed to do does not rise again. At least, those were my thoughts. Even the most optimistic people get down when it seems support is overwhelmingly lacking, when it seems “everyone else” gets the attention you wished you could, or even when those you count on to be there when you need them have better things to do. We are definitely all human, and no matter your purpose/passion, you still have a heart that can be hurt. So, I contemplated giving everything up, figuring no one would miss what I have to say or what I do, and just when I got to that point of give up, I heard something within me say “Speak to the silence”.

My first thought after that was, “Why should I? What difference will it make?” But when I thought about it more, clarity began to come. I began to remember the times when I have literally thought I am writing, speaking, or advocating to myself due to the lack of response, but then from nowhere someone would comment or write to me telling me how something I said had touched their lives. I then began to remember the times that even writing down what I was feeling was cathartic for me and got me out of my feelings. From there, I thought about how many times I have not responded to something others have said or written, and how they too could be feeling like I have recently felt, but the fact was that their words had meant something because I remembered them. So, as I thought, I realized that while the silence can be deafening, there is still life in the silence. There are still listening ears and watching eyes in the silence. Lives can still be changed, and passions can be built just by me deciding to do what I am meant to–even when I feel unheard and unseen.

Maybe you have felt that you are unnecessary, or that your words mean nothing. As you look around, it seems others have support, but you are alone…and maybe if that is the case at the moment, know that you were built for this. Who you are and what you do is necessary for SOMEONE on this vast planet of ours, and if you stop speaking/writing/motivating/marketing/encouraging, you will miss your opportunity to put an imprint even on that ONE person’s life. I know the process is difficult. I understand wanting to be embraced and encouraged. I also understand wanting to just sink into the background not thinking you will be missed, but keep speaking even when the silence gets deafening. Keep being even when it costs everything within you to be. Keep believing when everything around you makes it seem that what you are believing in and for will never happen. As long as you are alive, there is a possibility of having everything your brilliant mind could ever imagine, so get back to speaking to the silence. One day, there won’t just be echos, but a response. Keep going.


Beauty From Ashes

Sometimes life can be strange. Things are going well, then they are not. You’re happy. Then you’re sad. Life can become an emotional roller coaster. This is especially so when you watch everyone around you being seemingly successful while you seem stuck right where you are-even more so when you have just one desire that you want the most, but that one thing is THE thing that eludes you time and time again. For once, I’m not writing about something I have already lived through. I am writing about something that I am living daily. A struggle. A deep and hurtful thing. Yet, it is my path to walk. What do you do, though, when it seems that your path means you have to celebrate everyone else as they get what you want? How do you respond and mean what you say? You just do. I know that is difficult because our human nature is to live by emotions. We give in to what we feel, many times regardless of the consequences. Quite often, we only think about the consequences when it is too late to take back our initial reaction. We sometimes end up acting out in hurt and hurting others. That way of living only leads to greater hurt, and  not being fulfilled. One thing I am learning while walking my path and watching others get what I desire, is that sometimes your strength is built by being able to stand in the midst of the pain. That means keeping a smile on your face, and finding something deep within you that makes you truly joyful and happy for those around you. Yes, that can take time, but when you find that place, hold on to it. Your path is your own to walk, and though it may be difficult, don’t despair of what you are meant to walk out. Just know that, as it is said, delay is not denial. You will get everything you are meant to have, but first you have to journey to a place where you still BELIEVE. Regardless of anything, I still believe that I will see beauty for my “ashes”, and that this journey will be worth it. Stay on the path.


This is for those…

This is for those who are weak but strong, hurting but loving, weak but powerful, lonely but giving, and stressed but still blessed…for those who are let down but still hopeful, losing the battle but winning the war, tired but still working, doubtful but still trusting…for those who hear more “no’s” than “yes” and see more obstacles than opportunities, this is for you…for those who need a break but won’t stop pushing, who watch others succeed and still celebrate with them, who need encouragement but still constantly encourage others, this is for you…for those who feel that they don’t matter but let no one feel left out, are wanting to throw in the proverbial towel but refuse to give up, this is for you. This is to remind you that you are amazing and intricately created to be a magnificent specimen of God’s glory. Who you are is such an integral part of our world’s fabric, and no one could ever replace you. What you are dealing with right now is all a set up. Your life, in it’s chaotic dichotomy, is necessary to produce the greatness that is waiting to burst forth out of you. So, dig in, and refuse to lose. This is for those who just won’t quit. Don’t.


When Life Hurts

I was once told to write about everything I could think to write about. In theory that sounds great, but what about those times when life just hurts? No one wants to read about how tough life can be, or realize that every day won’t be sunshine. Right? It would be crazy to remind someone that what they’re dealing with right now may not end today. Wouldn’t it? Maybe. I dare to say though that it’s not crazy. It’s necessary. Life is not always about everything being ok. Sometimes it is about you being ok when everything around you threatens to steal your sanity. Sometimes it is about smiling and laughing when nothing is funny. Life does not always play fair, but the great thing is that it does go on. Your today will eventually be your yesterday. Your present hurt will be your future victory. The mistakes of today become the lessons of tomorrow. No one ever wants to feel like life is a taskmaster never handing out fair wages, but when it feels that way today, remember that there is always tomorrow. Keep pressing.

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She was on a roll with words flowing like water. Nothing could stop her as she wrote words that seemed to materialize out of thin air–and she almost kissed herself because if no one else liked what she wrote she loved that her words spoke back to her. With each new day came new revelations, and she began to surprise herself with the words that tumbled off the tip of her pen. One day all that stopped. She was flowing and then she was not. She had run straight into the proverbial brick wall, and she could not see enough to know that on the other side of that brick wall was the rest of the journey. What happened? Well, she began to doubt herself because of others’ seemingly disinterest in her words and what she spoke. She began to believe that she was not interesting enough to have people want to listen to her. She almost decided to give up and turn away from all that was before her because of a moment of doubt and discouragement…but she had to remind herself of the journey it took to get to this point in her life. She had to remember that what she was doing was not about herself, but it was instead to reach people even beyond the scope of her imagination. What would happen if she was to stifle the words, and settle for doing something else in which she had no voice? Total chaos. When she thought things over, she realized that it’s great to have people want to read what you write and listen to what you have to say, but you have to be able to keep doing what you love even if no one else seems to care. She realized the power in words, so right then she decided to keep writing and to keep speaking because she needed to speak to herself. She decided that she would keep pressing and keep being all that she is supposed to be. She decided that she would not allow discouragement and doubt to keep her from accomplishing the goals that she had set to accomplish. She knew that she would only be happy and free if she chose to do what she did best: write and speak, encourage and enlighten. We have to get to a place where regardless of what it looks like, and regardless of the fact that we may feel like we’re on our own island looking out at everyone else around us, we are confident in who we are and what we do. There is no room for doubt, and even if we do get a little discouraged, there will always be one person who will unknowingly encourage us and give us a boost that will propel us forward. We have to keep pushing past doubt and press towards that which we need to accomplish–regardless of obstacles–regardless of self.