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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Using the Past as a Stepping Stone

All of us have some things that we have done that we are not proud of. We have some skeletons in our closets that we would rather keep hidden. We even have some things that we feel would damage our reputations, our lives, etc, if they are uncovered. Sometimes we spend so much time trying to forget that we have a past, that we allow our past to dictate our present.We allow our past to control our lives–how we behave is based on the past-how we interact with others is based on the past-how we love others and how we allow ourselves to be loved is based on our past–and we get caught in cycles that keep us from moving forward. What is important about having a past is acknowledging it and getting over it. This is not to say that we do not care about anything that has happened in our past–and it’s not to say that we do not regret things that we have done–it is also not to say that some of what has happened in our past has not had an effect on us–but we cannot afford to dwell in what has happened. That will keep us in a prison of our own minds–us screaming at the locked windows when all we have to do is open the lock and free ourselves. It is so crucial that we realize that what has happened in our lives has produced who we are at this very moment. Some things were just necessary. In this push to get past everything that has happened and dwell in the future, there are some who may try to keep you bound in what has been, but you cannot allow it. Think of it as a fight for your life. Let’s say you are in the ocean and you begin to drown. It seems that you are being held down, but as you look up you can see the light. You begin to fight towards the light, unrelenting, determined, and focused. Finally you break through and you look back down from whence you have come. At that point you decide that no matter what you will not be held down under than water again. We have to be just like this when we think of being relegated to our past history. We have to fight through all that threatens to hold us down, and┬ábask in the “light” of our present. The blessing in life is that if you live to see another day, that is another chance to do things better than you did them the day before. Choose today to live focused on the present and the future. Your past helped to produce you, but your past does not dictate all that you will become. Use your past as a stepping stone and move forward.