For the last month, I decided to stop writing. I realized that most of my inspiration was being pulled from a place of pain. While Sylvia Plath and Ernest Hemmingway wrote some incredible pieces of literature, the title of “tortured artist”, has not been an aspiration of mine. I wanted to learn how to pull from a place of optimism, and to encourage people. It’s easy for people who have lived a life of agony (whether self inflicted or not), to reach in to that sadness and use it to create beautiful works of art. But, when doing so, they are continuously focusing on the past and the negative aspects of their lives. That is not where I want to stay.
I took this past month to focus on the good things in my life. What have I gained from being out of work? What are some of the positive changes that have taken place this year? What have I learned? Because, in all honesty, it hasn’t been all bad. Its NEVER all bad.
People left me, and I left others. The initial sting of losing someone hurts a lot. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, significant other, or family member. When you have poured part of your life in to someone, it will always cause some level of heart ache. However, when the smoke clears, there is always relief. You realize that person was poisoning your well being, and the weight of holding on to them, is gone. THAT is the positive.
I didn’t just LOSE people, I GAINED people. God replaced every one that I lost with an “improved version”. People who were selfish, were replaced with people who are selfless. People who were always negative, were replaced with those who are uplifting. People who were careless, were replaced with individuals that are compassionate. THAT is a positive.
I have had one heck of a time with Jayden this year. As if my health and finances weren’t enough to deal with, I had the added chaos of an out of control preteen, hell bent on destroying everything we own. There is no way I would have held a job throughout this year, regardless of my health status. Jayden has required almost 100% of my time. At least this way, I was laid off with short term disability pay and not fired for being incompetent. THAT is a positive.
Another thing I lost this year was my ability to be active. This was probably the most difficult thing for me to accept. Being forced to slow down has been incredibly humbling. When you are stuck in one place, you are forced to deal with your thoughts. A lot of the time we stay busy so we aren’t alone with our selves. We drown out our thoughts with noise and other forms of stimulation. I went through the process of having to unpack everything I had been trying to bury, everything I didn’t want to think about, and everything that I had run away from. It was hard and really scary. But, I will tell you that now, I am at a level of peace mentally, I have never known before. THAT is a positive.
With the holidays coming up, I am finding it even more important to pull from a place of optimism. Holidays can feel very lonely and isolating for people with chronic illnesses and I am currently trying to find a balance between keeping myself safe, and making sure my kids are able to participate in different events. I am sure I will get frustrated, depressed at times, and overwhelmed. However, I am sure I will come out of this next season with yet another, silver lining.